When an illegal immigrant is taken into custody there are several ways to proceed:
• If a person from Mexico or Canada is detained for their immigration status and has no criminal background, they can voluntarily return to their home country at the expense of the federal government. This typically happens within a matter of days.
• When a detainee has a criminal background and the federal government determines it is going to remove the detainee, the government begins paperwork for deportation, the official removal of someone from the country for either criminal or immigration reasons. Detained people from non-neighboring countries must apply for travel documents through that country’s government. Every country is different on response times.
• Other situations can occur where federal government officials allow detainees to leave on their own recognizance.
• The length of time people are detained for immigration status often comes down to whether the detainees choose to voluntarily return to their country or contest their immigration status. Complicated immigration court cases can take as long as three years.
• Those determined by immigration officials not to be a flight risk can be allowed to post bail. Immigration officials in the state can make this decision. Few people use this avenue, primarily because of a lack of financial resources. SOURCE: TULSA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SGT. SHANNON CLARK
Report: For more information on the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse report, visit trac.syr.edu.