Am I Eligible to be Released on Bond?
Assume you have been detained by immigration officials (usually from the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)). The first question you need to answer is whether you are eligible for a bond order allowing your release from detention. In some cases, ICE will make a bond determination, including the amount of the bond required. In other cases, eligibility for and/or the amount of the bond will be decided by an immigration judge.
Assuming a bond is not set at the outset of your detention, or if you do not agree with the decision by ICE, you will have the opportunity to request a bond hearing by an immigration judge. The first issue to be addressed is whether you qualify to be released on bond.
As in the case of bail bonds in criminal cases, the general rules are that – with certain exceptions listed below – you may be eligible for release from detention on bond if:
- You do not pose a danger to the community, and
- You are not a “flight risk.”
There are, however, additional restriction that could limit a person’s ability to obtain release on an immigration bond. An immigration judge may not order that you be released on bond if, for example:
- You entered the US without presenting yourself at a border crossing or port of entry and were therefore not lawfully admitted into the country.
- You pose a threat to national security, including committing acts of terrorism, espionage, and similar activities.
- You committed certain crimes while you were in the United States (among them fraud, certain drug crimes and violent crimes, etc.) and were release from custody after 1998.
While some people fall within one or more of these categories, most detainees do not, and they are therefore eligible to apply for release on bond.
Preparing for a Bond Hearing
The importance of being released on bond cannot be overstated. The alternative could mean that you may remain detained until your deportation case is concluded. Accordingly, you want to make the most of the hearing, which includes convincing the judge that you are entitled to be released on bond.
Keeping in mind that the burden of proof at a bond hearing is on the detainee, it is important to convince the judge that you are neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. Evidence of these facts can come in a variety of forms, including, among other things, letters from friends and family discussing your good moral character; information about your ties to the community in which you have been living, including the presence of family members and your employment; copies of the birth certificate(s) of an of your US-born children; a copy of your marriage certificate if your spouse is in the US legally; letters detailing rehabilitation if you have a prior documented history of substance abuse or related crimes; etc.
Phoenix Immigration Bond Attorney
The process of having a bond hearing scheduled, obtaining a reasonable bond amount, and achieving a successful result requires both extensive knowledge of immigration law and experience representing clients who have dealt with the issue. At Castañeda Immigration Law, we believe this is an area where aggressive representation is essential. Remember that the stakes are high. Failing to obtain a release on bond means that your detention will continue through the end of your deportation hearing. Call our office to obtain the help you need.