When an individual is detained by ICE or placed on an immigration hold, it is a confusing and scary time. Adding to this anxiety is the fact that the detainee is now disconnected from friends and family and needs to figure out how to get released.
Some individuals can be released on "bond" while awaiting a hearing on their immigration case. Bond can be granted by ICE or if ICE refuses, by an Immigration Judge. However, for many people, the procedural steps to paying their bond and being released from custody are a mystery. Before someone tries to pay their bond, it is important to realize that not everyone is eligible for bond. For example, individuals who have committed certain offenses- like crimes of moral turpitude, aggravated felonies or drug offenses, will most likely not be eligible for bond. Another category of individuals not eligible for bond are those who are detained at the US Canada or US Mexico border.
Assuming that the individual does not fall into any of these categories, a bond hearing can be requested in front of an Immigration Judge. This is done when either you cannot afford the bond amount that ICE has given you, or no bond amount has been set. When an Immigration Judge reviews a case to determine whether or not the individual is eligible for bond, they look at a variety of factors.
These include whether they believe the person will attend their Immigration hearings, whether they are a "flight risk", whether or not they pose a danger to the community, the individual's family ties to the community, employment history, and more. The Immigration Judge will also look to see if the detainee has "relief" in the immigration court case. This means that the individual has the possibility of winning an Immigration Court case.
At an individual's bond hearing it is important to present the Immigration Judge with any evidence that may support these factors. This includes letters from family members who have legal status in the United States, anyone who can speak to the person's connections to the community, and other documents, such as copies of income taxes, or evidence of rehabilitation programs. It is a good idea to think about who could provide such statements now, before actually needing them.
If the Immigration Judge decides to grant bond or lower the bond amount, the next step is actually paying. Only someone who is over 18 years old and is a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR/green card holder) or a US Citizen can pay the bond. They will also need to show photo identification, proof of legal status in the United States, provide a valid address and have a social security number. Lastly, they will need to pay with a Certified check from a bank or a money order; they will not be able to pay by personal check or cash.
For more information about posting bond or for any other immigration matter, please contact Grzeca Law Group at (414) 342-3000 or visit our website at www.grzecalaw.com.