If you or a loved one was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or another agency because of your immigration status, you might be eligible for bond. A bond is a fee paid by a citizen or lawful permanent resident to ensure the detainee shows up for future immigration court proceedings.
By paying a bond, a detainee may be able to return home to their family and job while they wait on their removal proceedings to continue or face other immigration concerns. ICE has the ability to let detainees remain free based on personal recognizance, but they more commonly require an immigration bond. Only certain detainees are eligible.
What Are the Types of Bonds Available After an Arrest or Detainment?
In general, three types of bonds may be available when an immigrant is detained or jailed. This includes:
- Secured: The individual posting the bond pays the court in full. They can get their money back if the immigrant appears at all future proceedings.
- Partially secured: The individual paying the bond pays a percentage of the total amount to the court or via a bond company and pledges to pay the rest if the immigrant misses a court date.
- Unsecured: The sponsor signs paperwork promising they will pay the total amount if the immigrant does not show up for a future immigration court proceeding or attempts to flee, often backed by an asset, such as their home.
It is also possible that the detained immigrant might be released without someone else paying their bond if:
- They are not dangerous or accused of serious crimes
- They vow to return to all immigration court proceedings
- They have established a home nearby and have family in the United States
In some cases, people may refer to secured and unsecured bonds in the same way they would talk about loans. A secured debt—in this case, the bond—is backed by an asset, such as a house or vehicle. An unsecured debt does not have an asset that serves as collateral.
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What Is the Purpose of a Bond?
An immigration bond is, in essence, a way for ICE, the immigration courts, and other government agencies to ensure that immigrants will return to court for the proceedings in their case. In addition, it is a way to guarantee that they can be trusted if they are released from custody while they await their proceedings. This is one reason why these bonds require the individual paying them to be a citizen or lawful permanent resident.
Getting a bond does not affect the outcome of the case. It does not affect the charges or the proceedings. However, it does allow the immigrant to leave the jail and go home to be with their family during this time, as long as they follow the conditions of their release.
This also allows the immigrant to better work with an immigration law firm or attorney to obtain legal status, build a case to argue against removal, get a cancellation of removal, or take other steps to get a better outcome in their case.
How Much Is the Bond in an Immigration Case?
There is no standard bond for an immigrant who has been detained. Instead, the immigration judge or ICE sets the bond based on the facts of the case. Factors they may consider include:
- Their family in the United States
- Employment and other ties to the area
- Their criminal history
- Immigration status
- Whether they have reason to flee
In general, the more of a flight risk they believe the immigrant may be, the higher the bond. However, some immigration judges are notorious for primarily offering extremely high bonds or no bond at all.
Having an immigration attorney on your side to present evidence and show that you plan to attend all court proceedings can help you get a bond or get a lower bond. If your family member is currently detained, connecting with an immigration law firm is a great first step. They might be able to help even if ICE or the immigration judge denied bond.
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What Happens After an Immigration Bond I Paid?
Once the bond is paid, the immigrant can return to their home and loved ones, assuming this does not violate any conditions of their release. They will need to abide by all terms set by the court and appear at all hearings. The individual who paid the bond is tasked with ensuring they do so.
If the immigrant goes to all proceedings, the sponsor who paid the bond can receive a refund for the bond they paid regardless of the outcome of the case. However, if they miss a hearing, the immigrant will be detained again, and the sponsor will forfeit their money.
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Meet with an Immigration Attorney About Your Options Today
New Frontier Immigration Law offers strategic sessions to family members of those detained by ICE or facing removal proceedings. Bond may be possible, and we can discuss the differences between an unsecured vs. secured bond. At the same time, we may be able to help you adjust your status, enabling you to live and work in the United States without worry.
Call 623-552-5025 to learn more today.