Millions and millions of people who live and work in the United States are immigrants. There are people who have come from all corners of the world to create a future in America worth being proud of. Many of those who have come to the country are currently undocumented.
It is possible to be jailed and even deported due to issues relating to improper immigration in the United States. An individual might need to spend weeks behind bars in detention while their situation is worked out by the government.
During this time, immigration bonds can help to get loved ones out from behind bars and back into the safety of their homes. How do they work and why else can they be so important to many families? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
What is an Immigration Bond?
An immigration bond works much in the same way that a normal bail bond does. It’s still money put up with the intention of getting someone out from jail prior to their first court hearing.
A judge sets a certain bail amount that would allow an individual to get themselves out of jail. The friends and family of the individual then go to an immigration bail bondsman or service and pay the bondsman 10% of the bond upfront.
Usually, some form of collateral is given in case the money is not paid back to the bondsman. As long as the individual appears in court, the collateral is returned to the family and the bondsman keeps the 10% as profit.
The only difference between an immigration bond and a regular bail bond is that the bond is put up for an immigrant who is at risk of deportation.
There are two types of immigration bail bonds that you might want to get familiar with. These bonds are both available to those who are currently in ICE custody.
The first is known as a delivery bond. This is a bond that can only be given based on the determination of ICE or an established immigration judge. When an individual is arrested by ICE, they will likely be given a notice of custody conditions from the department that they need to adhere to. Their ability to get a delivery bond will be listed.
With a delivery bond in hand, a detained individual can return home while awaiting their immigration hearing. This gives them time to be with family as well as consult with an attorney about their case.
There is also what is known as a voluntary departure bond. This is when detainees are given the option to get out of jail by agreeing to leave the country by a specific deadline. They will need to make all their travel arrangements themselves and pay for them.
If agreed to, the person can get out of jail on bail with the funds returned to the family once proof of the person’s departure has been made.
Qualifications for an Immigration Bond
There are a number of qualifications a detained immigrant might need to meet in order to obtain an immigration bond. These may vary based on location, as well as the employment status, family situation, and criminal background of an individual.
The criminal background element here is particularly important. If a detained individual has prior convictions, there is a much lower chance of being able to qualify for a bond. At the end of the day, if the court determines that someone might be a flight risk, they will not allow a bond to be issued for fear of the individual not showing up to court.
There are ways to help one’s case in trying to obtain an immigration bond. It might be helpful to bring together members of the community who can vouch for you. Showing that one has strong relationships within the community can help to assuage feelings of fear from the court.
This can also help in general to show the value an individual has had to their community as a whole.
At the end of the day, however, the decision on whether an immigration bond can be awarded or not will rest with ICE and the courts. Even if a person qualifies, the request to place a bond may still be denied. It’s all on a case by case basis.
How Much Does an Immigration Bond Cost?
The cost of an immigration bond will vary case by case and will be set by either ICE or an immigration judge. The qualifications we mentioned earlier, such as criminal history or family ties, will also contribute to the bail price.
The higher the perceived flight risk, the higher the bail amount is likely to be set. The usual minimum for a bond total is set at around $1,500, though the costs can increase up to $10,000 or more.
The cost of departure bonds is often much lower than delivery bonds and be as low as $500 in total. There are a number of refundable immigration bonds out there as well that can help those in need financially.
It should be noted that it can take many weeks for the government to return posted bail money to a family. One should plan to be missing the money for up to a year.
Understanding Immigration Bonds
If you’ve had a loved one behind bars due to issues relating to immigration, you’d likely do anything to have them back home safe. The above information about immigration bonds can help to ensure you can do just that.
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