When an illegal immigrant is arrested by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, one of the biggest challenges that they face is the uncertainty that comes along with detainment. Along with the threat of removal from the country, they are unsure of when they will be reunited with their loved ones and, in some cases, their children. Many are relieved when they learn that they are eligible for release through an immigration bond, but unfortunately this isn’t the case for everyone. Those who are not eligible for bond must remain in ICE custody until their case is resolved in court.
So, what does not eligible for bond mean? Essentially, immigrants are evaluated upon arrival at an ICE facility. During this initial intake process, ICE or an Immigration Judge (IJ) will consider a number of factors regarding the immigrant’s specific circumstances. These factors include (but are not limited to) criminal history, employment status, method of entry into the United States, time in the country, family ties, community standing and the immigrant’s native country.
An immigrant whose Visa recently expired but has no criminal history and is employed will probably be eligible for release on a bond. This means that a family member, friend, or employer can act as an immigration sponsor and pay the amount deemed appropriate for release to ICE either in cash or through an immigration bond service. At this point, they will be released from detainment and able to return home until the court reaches a final decision regarding removal proceedings. The immigration bond does not affect the outcome of the case; however, it does allow the immigrant to get their affairs in order and have the comfort of their loved ones. It is also important to note that these immigrants are subject to the terms of their immigration bond until a decision has been reached in their case. This means that they must appear before ICE or in court when ordered and refrain from criminal activity. If they do not, they will be arrested by ICE once again and held in detainment for the remainder of their case.
An immigrant who is deemed not eligible for bond does not have the option to have an immigration bond sponsor pay a sum of money to secure their release. This is typically because the immigrant has an extensive criminal history, is perceived as a flight risk or a threat to the community or national security. These immigrants may be able to fight this decision in court by requesting a Bond Redetermination hearing in front of an Immigration Judge but may be subjected to mandatory detention depending on their circumstances. The time they will spend in an ICE facility as they await a verdict will vary greatly, but is typically anywhere from several months to over a year. In this situation, it is wise for loved ones to contact an attorney who specializes in immigration.
Are you a loved one of a detained individual and still questioning, “what does not eligible for a bond mean?” Contact us today to learn how we can help.