ICE agents in Nevada are authorized to enforce immigration laws and remove illegal aliens. In the current political climate with President Trump toughening illegal immigration policies, the frequency and scope of "ICE raids" on foreigners are increasing.
Below our Las Vegas ICE hold attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about ICE raids and enforcement in Nevada. Click on a topic to go directly to that section.
- 1. What is ICE?
- 2. What are ICE raids in Las Vegas, NV?
- 3. What are ICE holds in Las Vegas, NV?
- 4. How has President Trump affected ICE?
- 5. What if I am arrested by ICE in Las Vegas, NV?
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the primary investigative agency for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE's mission is to advance homeland security by enforcing federal laws regarding border control, customs, and immigration rules. In short, ICE agents seek out non-citizens who may either:
- have a conviction(s) for deportable crime(s),
- have an outstanding removal order on record for visa law violations or other immigration violations, or
- have missed prior immigration hearings.
ICE has been around only since 2003, though it has more than 20,000 employees in all 50 states and 47 foreign countries. The Nevada ICE office's address and contact information are:
Office of Chief Counsel/ Office of the Principal Legal Advisor
3373 Pepper Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89120
ICE raids in Nevada are when ICE law enforcement officers seize an alleged foreigner (or group of foreigners) who they believe violated immigration laws and should be removed from the U.S. Many of these raids occur in the immigrants' home or workplace at the time of day ICE agents believe the immigrants will be present. ICE "sweeps" are when agents go into areas they suspect have several illegal immigrants (such as Hispanic neighborhoods or Chinatown) and arrest them all at once.
ICE raids are orchestrated by the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), which has the authority to identify, detain and apprehend removable aliens. Specifically, ERO's policy is the following:
- to prioritize aliens' apprehension,
- to arrest and remove convicted criminals who are considered a threat to national security,
- to arrest and remove fugitives and recent border entrants,
- to transfer removable aliens,
- to manage aliens who are currently incarcerated, and
- to offer aliens access to legal resources and USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) information
Whenever the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police arrest someone for allegedly committing a crime, the arrestee's name and fingerprints are transmitted to the FBI and ICE. If ICE believes the arrestee may be in the United States illegally, ICE can request that the jail detaining the arrestee "hold" him/her for 48 hours longer than the jail would hold him/her otherwise. This is so ICE has time to further investigate his/her immigration status. In short, "ICE hold" is shorthand for "immigration detainer."
Legally, local law enforcement agencies like Las Vegas Metro are not obligated to comply with ICE hold requests, but they almost always do. If ICE determines that the arrestee is actually a U.S. citizen or is not subject to deportation, the arrestee should be released. Otherwise, ICE takes the arrestee into custody and transfers him/her to Las Vegas immigration jail for further proceedings.
Note that not every illegal immigrant ends up being detained or prosecuted. ICE may exercise its right of prosecutorial discretion in Nevada and release the arrestee. Alternatively, ICE can commence removal proceedings and issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) that outlines the legal reasons why the detainee should be deported. ICE defendants then may be either released on bail, released on his/her own recognizance, or subject to mandatory detention pending the outcome of the removal case.
Immigration bond payments can be made through either immigration bond companies (many Las Vegas bond bail bond companies do immigration bonds as well) or paid directly at the ICE Las Vegas Sub-Office. Bond payments should be in Cashier's check or U.S. Postal Money Order made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
President Trump has issued Department of Homeland Security memos designed to make deporting illegal immigrants quicker and more frequent. Two of the biggest changes are the following:
- Before Trump, ICE concentrated on detaining aliens who may pose a threat (like gang members). Now immigration agents can now devote their resources to arresting anyone in the U.S. illegally, even if they are otherwise law-abiding.
- Before Trump, judges almost always presided over deportation proceedings. Now courts are expected to employ "expedited removal" without judges as much as the law allows in order to deport illegal aliens faster.
People who fear they may be at risk for an ICE raid in Nevada are advised of the following:
- Speak to an experienced immigration attorney now before anything happens. Depending on the case, the immigrant may want to hire the attorney in advance so he/she will not have to scramble to hire someone in case of arrest.
- If ICE arrives at an immigrant's home, the occupant does not have to let them in unless they can produce a valid warrant (which can be slipped under the door).
- The immigrant should have an action plan in place for his/her family in case the immigrant is detained, including important phone numbers to call, child care plans, etc.
Immigrants in Nevada should also exercise their right to remain silent if ICE agents question them.
Note that immigrants may be able to get permission from ICE to leave the country without court proceedings. See our article on voluntary departure in Nevada.
ICE after you? Call an immigration attorney...
Being investigated by ICE can be terrifying, and many non-citizens may feel tempted to let themselves be deported without a fight. If you or a loved one are being targeted by ICE and are seeking representation in Nevada, contact our Las Vegas NV immigration attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a consultation. We will help you make sense of the often complicated laws associated with these issues and discuss how we may help your case reach a favorable resolution.