Being detained by U.S. immigration officers is a scary experience for anyone. An immigration bond is one way to get out of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility and back home with family. Whoever paid the bond will have the money returned to them when you attend all of the necessary court hearings and comply with court orders. To learn more about an immigration bond hearing and how an immigration lawyer can help, contact Nesbit Law Office today.
How to Request a Bond Hearing
In most cases, you will need to request an immigration bond hearing while you are in detention. You can make a written or oral request to an Immigration Judge (IJ) at your first court appearance, often called a Master Calendar Hearing. However, if you do not receive a first appearance quickly, you can submit a written request for a bond hearing.
A bond hearing request is typically made in the form of a motion. A motion is a legal document that uses legal wording to request something from the court. In this case, a well-written motion can request a bond hearing and provide legal documentation about why you should be released. You will also take this legal documentation to the bond hearing and submit it to the IJ in person.
Who Is Eligible for Release on Bond?
Only some detainees are eligible for a bond order. The court will review your current status in the United States and reasons you were detained in order to determine whether you can be released on bond. Some detained aliens must stay in ICE facilities for the entire removal proceeding and related hearings.
An IJ may not grant a bond if the detainee:
- Is an “arriving alien.” Arriving aliens are non-citizens returning to the United States from a trip abroad.
- Was not admitted to the United States on a lawful basis. This means the detainee entered the country without official documents at an official border or port of entry.
- Took actions that threatened national security. This may include crimes such as espionage, sabotage, overthrow of the government, and terrorism.
- Was arrested based on certain crimes in the United States, such as drug possession or sale, violent crimes, theft, fraud, and others.
The court considers detainees who fall into the previously stated categories as “mandatory detainees.” They must be held at an ICE facility for the duration of removal proceedings. An IJ cannot grant a motion for a bond, nor allow the detainee to be released on bond.
In some situations, the IJ may decide that a detainee does not qualify for a bond, but you may disagree. In that situation, you may request a “Joseph hearing.” This allows you and your attorney to appear at a hearing and present evidence that your loved one should be released on bond. You will be able to speak at the hearing and clear up any misconceptions of the IJ.
What Is the Immigration Bond Hearing Process?
The immigration bond hearing usually takes place on the same day as the Master Calendar Hearing; however, it is a separate hearing. It may take place immediately before your Master Calendar Hearing.T
Immigration officials will transport the detainee to the hearing location
so they can be physically present in the courtroom for the hearing. If there is no hearing location on site at the detention center, then the detainee may appear via video link or transport via bus to the hearing location.
Detainees do not typically have to enter the hearing room in handcuffs or shackles, but they usually do have to wear clothing and shoes that the federal government issues them. Security guards will monitor all of the detainees.
Family members may attend the hearings, but they may not speak to the detainees during the hearing. Your attorney may be present as well, and they will be able to speak with the detainee and family members.
During the immigration bond hearing, the IJ will review the status of your immigration and determine if you are eligible for a bond. The IJ will make a determination during the hearing about your bond. They will consider many facts as well as their perception of your character and behavior in the past. The IJ will also be considering if you are a flight risk or danger to society.
Immigration Bond Amount
The IJ usually sets the immigration bond at a specific amount. It may be as low as $1,500 or as high as $10,000 or $20,000. There is a set minimum amount, but there is no maximum cap on how high an immigration bond may be. If the IJ thinks you are a flight risk or danger, they may set the bond higher.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can object to a bond, and they may suggest a higher amount to the IJ. Similarly, your attorney can suggest a lower bond and provide reasons for why it should be decreased.
The IJ’s Bond Order
If the IJ grants your immigration bond, you will receive a written order from the IJ that includes the amount of the bond. The court will likely reschedule your Master Calendar Hearing within 30 days, and you will be able to bond out of ICE detention.