ICE establishes new measures, helpline for detained immigrants

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) yesterday announced new measures that could help immigrants detained by state and local law enforcement agencies. The goal is to ensure that detainees are properly notified of their rights and possible deportation from the country.

In order to assist individuals who "may be U.S. citizens or victims of crime," ICE established a toll-free helpline for detained immigrants. The number, (855) 448-6903, will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Translation services in multiple languages will be available from 7 a.m. to midnight EST daily.

ICE employees will collect the individual's information and forward it to the appropriate department for immediate action.

In addition, a new detention form which reminds local authorities that they cannot hold the individual for more than 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays), at which time he or she enters ICE custody.

The form advises the detainee that if ICE does not take custody of them within 48 hours, they should contact the local authority or entity responsible for their detention to request their release from state or local custody. It also instructs individuals on how to file a complaint if their civil rights or civil liberties were violated by ICE's activities.