When an immigrant is detained by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), they are entitled to request bail. The amount needed for the detainee’s release is determined by an immigration judge or by the ICE themselves. Immigration bail is similar to regular bail in that it’s meant to ensure the individual will appear at all future court proceedings. Sometimes, the ICE may act on its authority to release the immigrant on recognizance, but in the majority of situations, knowledge of immigration bail bond proceedings is needed.
Qualifying for Immigration Bail
The ICE may automatically set a bond amount for the detainee, which is payable within a week of when they are first detained. If the ICE refuses to set an amount, or if the amount they set is unreasonably high, the case may move to a hearing. At an immigration bail hearing, the judge can override the ICE’s decision based on qualifying factors. If the immigrant is not a danger to the community and not deemed a flight risk, the bond will usually be approved. If the detainee has been granted relief from removal and will more than likely win their case, they have a high chance of qualifying for a low bond amount.
Types of Immigration Bonds
There are two different kinds of immigration bonds offered to detainees in the U.S. The most common is a delivery bond, which works similarly to a regular bond in a non-immigration case. The immigrant must have an arrest warrant from the ICE, and they must agree to appear at all future hearings. Leading up to their first hearing, they can consult with a lawyer who specializes in immigration cases. The second type of bond is a voluntary departure bond. If the individual is willing to leave the country on their own, they can avoid court proceedings and the consequences of deportation. This allows immigrants who are likely to be forcibly removed from the country the option to leave the U.S. and still be legally allowed to reenter.
A licensed federal immigration bail bonds agent can work with the detainee’s family or friends to get a surety bond, in order for the individual to be released. The agent charges up to 20 percent of the full amount of the bond, and they can often ensure a detainee’s release the same day. They can also lend expertise on immigration laws and the specifics of the case. Otherwise, the amount can be payed in full directly to the ICE with cash, money order, cashier’s check, or U.S. bonds. Delivery bonds are usually $1,500 minimum, with amounts increasing to $10,000 or more depending on flight risk, criminal history, and other factors. Departure bonds are far less – usually $500, which is refundable when the detainee leaves the country.
Immigration issues can seem scary or complicated, but immigration bail can be fairly straightforward when you know the basics. For information and assistance with a case, contact a licensed agent or ICE official.