If your family member is picked up by immigration, you should first consult the ICE Detainee Locator at https://locator.ice.gov/ to determine where your family member is being processed or detained by immigration. Your family member will be given a phone call when processed by ICE. Should your family member call you, you should ask them:
(1) where are they going to be detained?
(2) do they have an immigration bond already set by ICE?
Next, call our office to consult with an attorney to go over your options in securing your family member’s release from immigration custody.
An immigration bond is an amount of money set by ICE officials or an immigration judge that, once paid, allows a person to get released from immigration jail. The money will be refunded to the person who posts it, so long as the immigration detainee shows up for court.
Not necessarily. Many individuals picked up by ICE will be placed in removal proceedings through which they will be eligible to apply for relief from deportation in front of an immigration judge. However, individuals picked up by ICE who already have a final order of deportation risk being physically deported by ICE. If this is the case, contact our office immediately to go over your family member’s options in reopening his or her case.
An individual taken into ICE custody will be processed and a determination will be made by ICE officials at the outset of custody regarding bond. In other words, at the beginning of custody, ICE has the ability to set bond to the individual. If ICE sets a bond amount in which the individual is able to pay, we recommend paying that bond as soon as realistically possible. If ICE sets a bond, but the amount is too high to pay, that individual would have an opportunity to seek a bond reduction with an immigration judge. Also, should ICE decline to set a bond at the beginning of custody, an individual may seek a bond redetermination hearing with an immigration judge and argue to the judge that he or she merits release from custody upon payment of a reasonable bond. In a bond redetermination hearing, it is the burden of the individual applying for bond to prove to the immigration judge that he or she does not pose a danger to the community; specifically persons and property and that he or she does not pose a flight risk in that if released on bond, he or she would attend any and all hearings outside of custody.
Immigration bonds are at minimum $1,500. There is no maximum amount of bond an immigration judge may set. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case at hand, an individual in custody should expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $25,000 for bond.
There are bond companies who finance the payment of immigration bonds. However, should an immigration bond be financed through one of these bond companies, in many cases the lender adds on high interest rates or includes restrictive terms and conditions in order to finance the bond.
Technically an attorney is not required to obtain an immigration bond. However, we strongly recommend that an individual in need of assistance in obtaining an immigration bond go through an immigration attorney to request an immigration bond either through ICE or through the immigration judge.
If given a bond by ICE, you may lower the immigration bond amount through a bond redetermination hearing in front of an immigration judge. However, please be aware that an immigration judge is not required to lower a bond amount already set by ICE and may raise the bond or take away the bond. If an immigration judge sets a bond amount but you wish that the amount is lowered, you are limited only to filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals, a process which will take other 4-6 months to receive a decision.
You may appeal an unfavorable bond decision; appealing an unfavorable bond decision from ICE is done through filing a motion for bond redetermination with the Immigration Judge. You may appeal an unfavorable bond decision by an Immigration Judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Immigration bonds are either given by ICE once the individual is placed under their custody or by an immigration judge after a motion for bond redetermination has been filed with the immigration court. Your family member, if given an immigration bond by ICE, will be given paperwork indicating the amount of bond given. If ICE declines to offer bond in the first instance, then the family member’s options are limited to requesting a bond redetermination hearing with the Immigration Judge. If the detained individual is not able to say whether he or she already has a bond offered by ICE, family members may contact their local ICE ERO office and speak to an ICE officer regarding whether a bond has been set at https://www.ice.gov/contact/ero.