US Immigration Agency Creates Detainee Hotline

Posted December 29th, 2011 at 6:35 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has created a new hotline for people arrested for immigration violations to help ensure their rights are protected.

The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency said Thursday the hotline is for people who believe they are “U.S. citizens or victims of a crime.”

The announcement comes amid increasing reports of U.S. citizens being deported and with a number of states tightening their enforcement efforts and enacting controversial new laws against immigration.

The new hotline also follows a Justice Department report earlier this month alleging an Arizona sheriff and his deputies violated civil rights laws by engaging in racial profiling of Latinos and making unlawful arrests.

Arizona is one of the states that has tightened its anti-immigration efforts with a law, blocked for now, requiring police to check a person's immigration status during routine traffic stops, arrests and other investigations if they suspect that individual is in the country illegally. It also requires registered immigrants to carry documentation with them at all times, or be subject to 30 days' imprisonment.

The Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the constitutionality of the law, which the Obama administration says interferes with the federal government's authority over immigration policy

In addition to the ICE hotline, the federal agency said Thursday it has also created a form that will be issued to anyone detained in the immigration enforcement effort with instructions on what to do if they feel their civil rights were infringed on.

The form also informs detainees that ICE must take over their custody within 48 hours. If not, the form advises the detainee to inquire about being released from state or local custody.