When an undocumented immigrant is detained by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) in a detention center or a contracted prison, they may be eligible for release. This release is like bailing an inmate out of prison and is known as an immigration bond. It does not stop the legal proceedings against the undocumented immigrant; however, it does allow them to return home to their loved ones until their case is resolved. Those who are detained or have loved ones who are held by ICE often question: how do I request an immigration bond?
First, it is important to note that not all immigrants who are detained by ICE are eligible for an immigration bond. Those who have extensive criminal histories, are perceived as a flight risk or are viewed as a risk to national security may be held in mandatory detention. This means that there will be no bond amount set and the immigrant must remain in the detention center or contracted prison until their case has concluded in the court system.
Those who are eligible for an immigration bond will typically receive this information within the first day or two of detainment. Their eligibility and their bond amount will be set by the ICE district director. The minimum price of an immigration bond is set at $1,500 but the amount assessed beyond that will be based on several factors. Some factors that determine the bond price include their employment and criminal history, their family ties within the country, how long they have been in the United States and their history of violations in regard to immigration.
If the amount set by ICE is too high for the immigrant’s loved ones to pay, they may then have the amount reevaluated by an immigration judge. This is also a common question: how do I request an immigration bond re-determination? Fortunately, this request can be made orally or in writing by the detained immigrant. This will allow them to request a hearing, known as a “Motion for Bond Re-Determination” with the immigration judge who does not work for ICE.
During this hearing, the detained immigrant is given the opportunity to state the reasons why they feel that their immigration bond amount should be lowered. Some of these conversations may include steady employment, or family ties. Likewise, detained immigrants can address any pending criminal charges that have since resolved in their favor. The immigration judge will consider all of these factors when determining if the immigration bond decrease is warranted.
From there, the immigrant will need to have an immigration bond sponsor. This sponsor must be a U.S. citizen, or a permanent resident in good legal standing. They must have a valid photo I.D. and an original social security card to move forward with the payment of the immigration bond. This immigration bond sponsor can be anyone, whether a family member, friend or even an employer; however, they will be responsible for the payment of the bond.
If you are an immigration bond sponsor and want to know, “how do I request an immigrant bond payment appointment?”– simply call the local ICE facility to make these arrangements. At this appointment, the full amount of the bond must be paid using a cashier’s check or money order, as most facilities do not accept cash. Afterwards, the immigrant will be released from detainment the same day. If the immigrant complies and appears at all of their legal proceedings, the sponsor will be eligible for a refund after the resolution of the case.
If you are an immigrant bond sponsor and do not have the full amount of money required to pay the bond, you may also consider using an immigration bond agent or service. Instead of paying the full amount of the bond, you will be required to pay a percentage, usually around 10-15%, along with collateral. In this scenario, the immigrant will also be released from detainment the same day, but the percentage paid to the service or agent is not refundable. Collateral, on the other hand, will only be collected if the immigrant fails to appear at their legal proceedings.
To learn about your options for requesting an immigration bond with the help of an immigration bond service, contact us today at 1-800-225-2587.