Los Angeles immigration raids have been made famous by the media, movies, historical texts and more. However, one dirty little secret that Los Angeles immigration defense attorneys know is that many U.S. citizens are taken into custody along with those non-citizens the federal agencies are so quick to remove.
Imagine the situation where you, either a naturally born citizen or perfectly legal immigrant, are arrested, held and not able to see your family for months because of an immigration raid. Well, just such a situation happened recently at an immigration raid in Los Angeles.
An ICE raid last year at a Van Nuys printer cartridge manufacturer, Micro Solutions Enterprises, generated wrongful-arrest claims from more than 100 citizens, said Peter Schey, chief lawyer at the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Los Angeles. All were held for two to three hours before being released, Schey said.
Americans seldom carry proof of their legal status, which can be a factor in the confusion about detainees' citizenship. There is no comprehensive database or list of all citizens for agents to check.
Immigration raids of factories and other work sites often result in at least a short-term detention of lawful residents and even citizens, as agents seal targeted businesses and grill workers about their status.
Officials in Washington said last month that the Obama administration was expected to rein in the controversial workplace raids -- shifting enforcement emphasis to target employers rather than workers. Immigrant advocates have long pushed for such a change, while others say easing workplace enforcement will encourage illegal immigration.
Deportation may be preventable, especially when a defendant has financial resources to bail out immediately after an arrest. In Los Angeles County, a defendant is typically transferred into Sheriff's custody from the arresting agency's jail within 48 hours of arrest. This happens ordinarily right after the arraignment. Subsequently, a criminal disposition may be reached in court without jail time. An immigration hold in Sheriff's jail is avoided, as the accused is out on bail and his immigration status is typically not checked within the court system.
If you're facing criminal immigration challenges, contact the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin today.
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