Pennsylvania residents who entered the United States without proper immigration paperwork may take interest in the case of a man in another state. It is not uncommon for undocumented immigrants to hold paying jobs, drive cars and otherwise contribute to local and national economies by carrying out normal duties of work and family life in the United States. Immigration detention problems can arise however, if Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents get involved.

The man in question was driving when police pulled him over in a traffic stop in May. Police say the reason for the stop was that one of the headlights on the car was not functioning when it should have been. The cops issued a ticket, though the man later said he resolved the issue the same day by repairing the headlight and handing the ticket in at a local precinct. He also said officials told him there was nothing more to worry about and that the situation was resolved.

What police did not tell the man was that they contacted ICE to report his legal status. Several months later, an unmarked car blocked the man’s vehicle as he made his way to work. He was shocked when several men jumped out of the other vehicle and commanded him to exit his van. The men were ICE officers and they informed the man that he was being arrested because of a 17-year-old deportation order; they also stated that they learned of his whereabouts from the police who had pulled him over regarding the prior traffic stop.

The man now sits behind bars in an immigration detention center even though he is married to a U.S. citizen and his petition for marriage-based residency has already been accepted. The man has no criminal record and has reportedly been paying taxes for years. There may be Pennsylvania residents facing similar legal status problems; it is always a good idea to turn to experienced U.S. immigration law attorneys for support rather than try to resolve such issues alone.