What is a Bond?

A bond is a promise to the government or Immigration and Customs Enforcement that, if they release you from detention, you will go to all your court hearings and follow the Judge’s orders — even if that involves being deported. There is no maximum amount for bond.

Is the Bond money refundable?

If you go to all your hearings and interviews, the person who paid your bond will get the money returned at the end of your case. If the immigration judge orders you deported, you will have to leave the country in order for the person who paid your bond to get the bond refunded.

Who is eligible for Bond?

Not everyone can apply for a bond. If you str classified as an “arriving alien” or if you have certain criminal convictions, you will not be allowed to apply for a bond. Your criminal history can affect your chances to apply for a bond in significant manner. For example, if you are convicted of an offense that is considered an aggravated felony, such as drug trafficking, you are subject to mandatory detention and thus ineligible for bond. Also, if you’ve been ordered deported in the past or you are still waiting for an interview with an asylum officer, you won’t be able to apply for a bond.

However, even if you are ineligible for bond, you may be able to apply for a bond after prolonged detention. There is ongoing litigation as to what is considered an unreasonably long detention period, which is why it is important to seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer to assist you with the bond process.

How does the Bond process begin

The process begins when an individual is first detained. Normally, you can apply for a bond directly with the ICE official or the ICE office where the detainee is held. ICE has jurisdiction to grant a bond in many cases at this initial phase, before a case is referred to the immigration court. Once a person begins their removal proceedings in front of an immigration judge, only the judge has jurisdiction to issue a bond.

What is a bond hearing

When you apply for a bond directly with an immigration judge, you must attend a bond hearing and establish that the positive factors outweigh any negative factors and that you are not a flight risk or danger to the community.

At immigration bond hearings, the judge will ask questions such as:

  • If you’re released, are you a danger to your community?
  • Will you show up at your future immigration court hearings?
  • Do you have a fixed address?
  • What are your family ties in the United States?
  • How long have you been in the U.S.?
  • What does your criminal history reveal?
  • Do you have a history of stable employment?
  • Have you participated in any community organizations or events?
  • What is your financial ability to pay a bond amount set by the court?
  • What is your history with immigration, including how and when did you enter the U.S.?
  • Are you eligible for possible relief from removal and deportation?

Can I appeal a denied bond request

An Immigration Judge’s bond decision may be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. 8 C.F.R. § 1003.38 provides that an appeal must be filed within thirty days of the Immigration Judge’s decision. An appeal of a bond decision is processed in the same way as other types of appeals in the immigration context, except that bond appeals are not transcribed.

A bond appeal before the Board is deemed “moot” when one of the following occurs:

  1. The alien departs the United States on a voluntarily or involuntarily basis;
  2. The alien is granted relief by the Immigration Judge, and DHS does not appeal;
  3. The alien is granted relief by the Board;
  4. The alien is denied relief by the Immigration Judge, and the alien does not appeal;
  5. The alien is denied relief by the Board;
  6. The alien is released on the conditions requested in the appeal; or
  7. The alien is released on conditions more favorable than those requested in the appeal.

Get Out While You Can!

Many people held in immigration detention are eligible for release on bond but are not able to win release because they are not represented by an attorney.

It is also important to note that each judge conducts a bond hearing differently—some want to see a lot of evidence in document form while others want to hear testimonial arguments at the time of the hearing. Knowing your judge can make an enormous difference in the outcome of a case.

To find out how obtain a successful bond, contact a deportation defense attorney to help you with the preparation of a strong bond application and hearing.


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