Children are detained by immigration authorities in different ways, including
– crossing the border
– through raids on workplaces or homes
– after being arrested
When a child is apprehended by themselves (not with their parent or legal guardian) they are usually considered unaccompanied. Unaccompanied immigrant children under age 18 must be placed in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the Department Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours of their apprehension by immigration officials. They will also be placed in removal proceedings, which means they will need to appear before an immigration judge who will decide if they can stay in the U.S.