Bond in removal proceedings
Similar to bail or bond in criminal proceedings, bond in immigration proceedings is a sum of money paid by, or on behalf of, the detained individual in order to secure their release from custody. Bond is not available to all individuals detained by ICE, but rather, it is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Some individuals are offered bond by ICE when are first taken into ICE custody. Bond amounts cannot be less than $1,500 and can also be tens of thousands of dollars. Detainees who are not offered bond by ICE, or who were offered bond that they were unable or unwilling to pay, have the opportunity to seek bond in front of an immigration judge. A bond hearing may be requested by a detainee or their attorney orally or in writing.
Bond proceedings are separate from removal proceedings. Regardless of whether or not a detainee is ultimately granted bond, the removal proceedings initiated against that individual will move forward and that individual may or may not ultimately be removed from the country.
Some detainees are statutorily ineligible for bond, which means that ICE and the Immigration Judge is not legally permitted to grant them bond and they therefore must be detained during the entire resolution of their cases. This is called mandatory detention, and it applies to detainees convicted of certain crimes, detainees convicted of two or more crimes with imprisonment sentences of a certain length, detainees who entered the country illegally, detainees who engaged in terrorist activities, and detainees who fall into several other specific categories. While such detainees are ineligible to apply for bond, it is still possible for ICE to release them on parole (often with an ankle monitor and/or requirements to check in periodically) in certain circumstances, including when their continued detention is not in the public interest.
In determining whether or not to grant bond, and the amount of bond to be paid if the bond request is granted, an Immigration Judge will first evaluate whether a detainee poses a danger to the community, and whether the detainee is a flight risk. If the Judge determines that a detainee poses a risk of danger to the community, or that they represent a flight risk, then the judge will deny bond. A detainee’s criminal history, previous gang involvement, and previous attempts to evade prosecution or violate immigration laws may weigh on this determination, among other factors. Even if the judge determines that a detainee is neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk, that does not mean that the detainee will necessarily be granted bond. The judge will also evaluate various factors and determine whether granting bond is equitable under the circumstances. Examples of such factors include, but are not limited to, the detainee’s criminal history, immigration violations, length of residence in the United States, family ties in the United States, and employment history.
If a detainee is granted bond, then the bond will need to be paid in order for them to be released from detention. Oftentimes, family members, friends, or bail bondsmen pay the bond for the detainee. Once the detainee is released on bond, they must show up for all future immigration court hearings, or the bond will be forfeited. Once a case is concluded, the bond can be returned to the individual(s) who paid it, with interest, as long as the former detainee fully cooperated with all requirements, instructions, and orders of the Immigration Court. In some instances, it is possible to request a bond redetermination or to appeal a bond determination if bond is denied.
If you are interested in learning more about bond in removal proceedings, please contact Tanner Law Offices at 717-731-8114 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.