In recent years, immigration has been such a difficult issue to navigate that many people are nervous about their status. Even people who have done their best to follow the law wonder what might happen to them if they are investigated and arrested. Many in Virginia worry they could be detained and deported
This is not limited to people who are unfamiliar with the system. Even those who have been in contact with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement are vulnerable. Often, it might seem as if they are at the whim of ICE and are detained without legal justification.
Critics say that has been the case for three Central American men who were detained but not deported.
Three men detained
According to news reports, the three men were detained by ICE. All three were undocumented and had previous encounters with law enforcement for various reasons – driving under the influence, a traffic stop, an unspecified past conviction – but had been allowed to remain in the United States. They told the judges in their cases that they would be subject to persecution and potentially torture in their home countries if they were deported.
Despite the judges allowing them to stay, they were still detained by ICE. Critics say this violates the agency’s policies.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Immigration Project and the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition have joined a legal case arguing that the detention is arbitrary and indefinite, and therefore illegal.
In some cases, people who cannot be returned to their country of origin can be sent to another country where they have a connection. None of the men fall into that category. They remain in ICE custody.
Detained immigrants have rights and should be protected
Immigration laws and how they are enforced can be confusing. People from other countries will undoubtedly be unsure of what might happen to them if they are arrested by ICE or another law enforcement agency. It is essential for people to know that regardless of their status, they have rights.