It can be stressful when you or a loved when is detained by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to say the least. Choosing an attorney with experience in helping your loved one be released shouldn’t be. Attorney Jim Melo has helped hundreds of individuals in their release from detention throughout the United States. Mr. Melo has successfully sued Wake County when it was unlawfully detaining individuals beyond the 48 hours as allowed by federal immigration law. He brings the same level of tenacity to every individual case.
While it may not be possible to obtain the release of every individual, we will do everything in our ability to be sure that your family member gets every chance they can to be released. Mr. Melo will personally visit with your family member at the detention center and review the case with the individual and explain the process and timeline in attempting to obtain their release. Mr. Melo will discuss the likelihood and probabilities given the individuals personal set of facts. Because each case is unique and different Attorney Melo requires a visit with the individual to learn the specific facts of their case and in helping them determine their best course of action.
Before calling to set up an appointment please consider the following advice and informational facts.
It is extremely helpful to have the following information from your loved one that is detained if you have been able to communicate with them or are able to obtain this information from the detention facility:
- What was the reason they were arrested? What are the criminal charges against them?
- Were they given a county bond? If so, how much?
- Were they released from the county on a Written Promise to Appear?
- Do they have an ICE Hold?
- What is their inmate ID number at the detention facility?
- What is their A (alien) number? (this is a 9 digit number assigned by immigration and will appear in the top right hand corner of almost all immigration documents issued by ICE).
- Have they previously had an order of removal or deportation against them by an immigration judge?
- Have they been in proceedings previously before an immigration judge?
- What is their full name and date of birth?
In North Carolina when a loved one is typically first detained by a local enforcement agency (city police or sheriff’s office) they are first processed by the local enforcement agency. Next they are taken in front of a county magistrate who will determine if your loved one will be given a county bond or whether they will be released on their own recognizance. In all counties in North Carolina, an Immigration ICE HOLD is almost always placed on an individual if there is reason to believe they are in the US unlawfully.
If your loved one is given a county bond our recommendation in MOST counties is to NOT pay the county bond immediately. This is so that your family member is not immediately taken into immigration custody and moved to another facility and potentially moved so quickly that our chances of obtaining release from immigration custody are severely diminished. Immigration can NOT take your loved one into custody if they are still in county custody. As long as the county bond is not paid your loved one will remain in county custody.
If your loved one is released from the county on a “Written Promise to Appear” then your loved one will be held for 48 hours on the ICE Hold to give time for Immigration to come pick up your loved one and begin to move them to other immigration detention facilities. Eventually they usually will be sent to Georgia, but this is not always true. If they are released on a written promise it is urgent that you contact us immediately as your loved one will begin to be moved by immigration almost immediately.
Because detention matters are so complex and unique to each individual it is important to meet with an attorney who understands the complexities. We also understand that these matters are urgent and stressful and will do our best to ensure that you are able to meet as quickly as possible with Attorney Jim Melo so we can begin working on release from detention as expeditiously as possible. Bear in mind that there are times when Mr. Melo will not be available immediately due to other obligations such as court hearings, travel, vacation, or other matters.