Crazy Immigration Story: ICE Detention, Interpol, and More





In today’s blog, we have an extraordinary immigration story to share. It is one that left us astonished and tested our problem solving skills. Several years ago, during my early days as an immigration lawyer, I received a frantic call that set off a series of events I will never forget. Join me as I recount this gripping tale in an effort to provide insight into the unpredictable challenges that can arise during immigration cases, as well as our firm’s commitment to the well-being of our clients and unwavering pursuit of solutions through even the most perplexing situations.


Disclaimer: The events recounted in this article are based on a real immigration case. However, names and certain details have been altered to preserve client confidentiality.


The Distressed Call


One morning, as the sun was just beginning to rise, I received an urgent call from a distraught woman named Jane (not her real name). Her voice trembled with fear and anxiety as she cried out, “Michael, Michael, they took him! They took my husband!” Confused and concerned, I asked for more information to understand the situation better. It turned out that Jane was the spouse of one of our clients. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had arrived unannounced at their home, apprehended her husband and left her bewildered and terrified. She had no idea why this was happening or where he was being taken, which heightened her concern even further. To ease her distress, I assured her that we would do everything possible to help and find out what was going on.


To provide some context, based on the information available to us and our client at the time, everything seemed normal. Our client had entered the United States as a visitor and subsequently decided to change his nonimmigrant status—an entirely legal process if completed within the required timeframe and meeting all the necessary criteria. We diligently filed the paperwork on time, leaving us all puzzled about the sudden detention.


Unveiling the Detention Facility


Through a series of calls and diligent effort, we managed to discover that Jane’s husband was being held at an ICE detention facility. However, gaining insight into the specifics of his case proved to be an arduous task. After countless interactions with customer support representatives, I finally connected with someone who had knowledge of the situation. His words sent a shiver down my spine: “Sir, there is more to this case than meets the eye. Unfortunately, I cannot disclose any further details.” Frustrated yet determined, I asserted my role as the attorney handling the case and insisted on information. Regrettably, no additional insights were shared, leaving us with more questions than answers.


The Immigration Hearing and INTERPOL Red Notice Revelation


Despite the lack of information from ICE, our unwavering commitment to our client’s well-being propelled us forward. We swiftly secured a hearing before an immigration judge hoping to uncover the truth behind the perplexing circumstances.


During the immigration hearing, the veil of mystery surrounding our client’s case began to lift. Astonishingly, we discovered that our client had an INTERPOL Red Notice issued against him. INTERPOL, the International Criminal Police Organization, issues Red Notices to law enforcement agencies worldwide, instructing them to arrest individuals identified in the notices. ICE had become aware of this Red Notice, prompting them to detain our client. This revelation took everyone by surprise, including our client, who had no prior knowledge of the notice’s existence.


Unveiling the Red Notice Origins


The critical question arose: Why was our client the subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice? It turns out that our client, an international entrepreneur conducting business in multiple countries, had encountered a predicament in one of the locales in which he operated. Unscrupulous individuals had obtained his checks and wrote them for substantial amounts that exceeded the funds available in his account. Consequently, the authorities in that country pressed charges against him, initiating criminal proceedings. However, our client had relocated to a different country and remained unaware of the legal actions taken against him. To his detriment, he missed a crucial court appointment—an act that triggered the involvement of INTERPOL, resulting in the issuance of the Red Notice against him.


The Detention and Resolution


Unfortunately, our client endured a period of detention in an ICE facility while we navigated through the intricacies of his case. His wife’s initial distress centered around his health condition as a diabetic, fearing he would lack access to vital medication. Thankfully, he received the necessary medical attention. Although his time in detention was challenging, we are delighted to report that those tumultuous days are now behind him, as he has resumed his immigration journey and is thriving in his new circumstances.


Reflecting on the Experience


This astonishing immigration case left an indelible mark on our professional journey. It was a unique encounter that tested our abilities and deepened our understanding of the complexities within the immigration system and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Although we have not since encountered a similar scenario, we find stories like this worth sharing, as doing so helps us all embrace uncertainty and gives us the courage to forge ahead through difficult circumstances. If you enjoy hearing about such captivating immigration tales, let us know in the comments—we have more stories to share!


As always, we appreciate your support and look forward to sharing more immigration stories in the future.

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Michael Ashoori Headshot

Michael Ashoori, Esq.

President of Ashoori Law

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.