It is unfortunate the amount of individuals in U.S. ICE detention centers that are not granted an immigration bond. These people are often held unnecessarily for extended periods of time at the taxpayers’ expense. Thankfully, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones ruled that the U.S. government cannot keep certain detained immigrants awaiting possible deportation at the Northwest Detention Center without a bond hearing. Judge Jones’ decision is a result of a class-action lawsuit filed in 2013 on behalf of dozens of Tacoma ICE detainees.
Having been in this industry for over a decade, this decision could not have been more appropriate I am frequently contacted by the detainee’s friends and family who are unable to facilitate their release. This ruling will ensure that a bond hearing is granted so an immigration judge can determine their eligibility for bond. A bond hearing “is not a free ticket out of jail” (as quoted by Matt Adams, the legal director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project), however it does allow one day in court to set a reasonable bond which is the defendant’s right; as enforced by the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
This decision is promising and will hopefully motivate other districts to promote new regulations
to that will ensure other detained individuals are granted their day in court. Unless the defendant is charged with a serious crime or is high risk (i.e. a high risk of flight or a high risk to the community), the detainee should have the right to a bond hearing.