» U.S. Border Arrests

What happens if your friend or relative has been charged in federal court with “illegal reentry.”

A person who enters the United States after being deported may be charged with the federal crime of “illegal reentry.”  This is a federal crime and the violator could be subject to jail ranging from a few months to more than one year, depending on their prior criminal record.  At this time, the crime of illegal re-entry is the most commonly prosecuted crime in federal court.  Once the sentence for illegal reentry is completed the person will not be able to get out of custody in the U.S. and may be subjected to expedited removal, unless they wish to apply for a fear based claim such as Convention Against Torture.  They can request a “reasonable fear” interview. If they pass the interview,  the immigrant will be put into special removal proceedings in immigration court.

Who can apply for parole?

Although arriving aliens are nearly always detained by ICE upon arriving, those arriving aliens who pass their credible fear interview may request to be paroled from detention. To request parole,  the person must submit to ICE evidence establishing

  1. their identity (passport or other government issued identity card),
  2. that they present no flight risk (i.e. they will show up to all immigration court dates),
  3. that they are not a danger to the community, and
  4. that other factors weigh in favor of his being released on parole.

Please note, that even if a person is able to provide ICE with this evidence, ICE may still deny the parole request. For some arriving aliens, ICE may agree to parole the person only after they have paid a sum of money (bond).

Detentions at the United States Border

Immigrants who are arrested by immigration officials at the US Border are categorized as “arriving aliens”.  Many arriving aliens are turned away and not permitted to enter the U.S. Those who are not turned away are not eligible to receive a bail bond before an immigration judge, but they may be paroled in. 

If you are categorized as an “arriving alien” and you have a fear of harm or you fear persecution from your home country,  you should express this fear to a deportation officer by requesting a “credible fear” interview at the time you are detained at the border.

You will be taken into detention, and an asylum officer will interview you. If immigration officials make a finding that you have a credible fear of persecution, you will be placed into removal proceedings where an immigration judge will decide if you are eligible to remain in the U.S.

Some individuals who are arrested at the border may have a prior order of deportation.  In these circumstances the US Border officials may deport that person immediately.  However, the immigrant does have a right to request a “reasonable fear” interview. If they succeed in passing a reasonable fear interview they may be permitted to file an application for relief based on fear, but they will have to proceed with this application while remaining in the custody of immigration.