The process of obtaining bond from immigration custody is complex, and every case is different. Having years of experience in this area, I’ve become familiar with these complexities and I’ve summarized the top four most important things you need to know about Immigration bonds:
- It is the client’s responsibility to show the judge that he or she deserves to be released on bond.
“You are innocent until proven guilty.” This often-used phrase reflects an important aspect of the criminal system: burden of proof. In simpler terms, if the government cannot prove that someone is guilty, the person must go free.
Many people have this mentality when it comes to immigration detention and bonds. However, in the immigration field, the detained person has the responsibility to prove that he or she deserves to be released on bond. If the person cannot meet their burden of proof, the judge will deny bond.
- By law, certain people must stay detained.
If an immigrant is found guilty or pleads guilty to a crime involving moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, certain crimes involving drugs or firearms, they will likely not be eligible for bond. It takes a lot of experience and knowledge of state and federal criminal codes to determine whether a crime falls within these categories, so if believe you or your loved one may have one of these convictions, contact our firm for assistance.
- Newly arrived immigrants who are classified as “arriving aliens” are not eligible request a bond from an immigration judge.
When an immigrant arrives at a port of entry, like an airport or a border entry point, their entry is denied, and they subsequently requests asylum (or they seek asylum from the very beginning) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may take them into custody to be processed for a credible fear interview and afterwards, an asylum hearing with a judge.
DHS may classify these people as “arriving aliens.” This classification means a lot in the world of bonds because, under federal regulation, immigration judges cannot give bonds to arriving aliens. In these cases, an experienced immigration attorney may seek re-classification from DHS or we may attempt to seek parole directly from DHS through one of their internal directives.
4. The bond process takes time
Given the current state of immigration courts and the serious backlogs they are experiencing, getting a bond hearing may take weeks. Plus, preparing a winning bond case takes time. At our firm, we first evaluate the case and determine a strategy. Second, the client or the client’s family send us the requested evidence. This step extremely important. Without evidence, it is nearly impossible to win a case. Third, we submit the bond motion in writing, and finally the court assigns a date for the hearing depending on the availability of the judges. If the judge grants bond, a friend or family member with legal status must pay the full bond amount at the local ICE field office with a cashier’s check or money order. We typically advise people wait 24 hours to give time for the order to appear in ICE’s system.
We hope this article brings some clarity to this complex process. We have years of experience and a record of success in bond cases. If you need help, do not hesitate to call us for clear and honest advice.