If you, a friend, family member or loved one has been arrested and detained for immigration purposes, you will need to get an immigration bond. This bond will release that person from custody until a court appearance. However, immigration bonds are only available if that person qualifies.
Keep reading to learn if you or someone you love qualifies for an immigration bond.
What Is An Immigration Bond?
An immigration bond is a kind of surety bond that protects the release of someone living unlawfully in the United States from the custody of Homeland Security. It’s similar to an insurance contract, in the sense that there are two parties involved, the insured and the insurer.
This bond is given to one party (the obligor) with the promise to pay the other party (the obligee) and an amount if a third party (the principal) doesn’t meet their obligation like the terms of their contract. In the case of an immigration bond, the principal is the alien who is being detained, the obligee is the US Department of Homeland Security, and the obligor is the insurance company.
Immigration will ask for this bond as a promise that you will attend all of your hearings. You are promising that if you get released from detention to fill up immigration reform, you will go to all of your hearings and do whatever the judge asks, even if that’s getting deported.
Am I Eligible For A Immigration Bond?
You can be eligible for an immigration bond if you can prove that you are not a flight risk or a danger to the community. Sometimes, detainees are not eligible for a bond because they have a criminal record or have already been deported.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), also won’t give a bond to detainees who aren’t cooperating by not answering their questions. If this is the case, then the detainee will need to talk to their pro bono immigration lawyer to find out if he or she is eligible for a bond.
If you’re still unclear, check out this resource.
How To Ask For A Bond Hearing
ICE can give paperwork with either the bond amount of “no bond.” The detainee will have to ask the judge to consider setting a bond, give a bond hearing, or lower the amount ICE asked for. Here are some ways you can ask for a bond hearing.
Tell the judge that you want a bond hearing as soon as possible. Know that bond hearings are not the same as deportation hearings, even though they involve the same judge.
If you ask for a bond hearing in court, the judge will typically give you a hearing in the next couple of days or weeks. You will need to check that you “do request an immigration judge review of this custody determination” on your “Notice of Custody Determination.”
You will then need to write the judge request letter for a bond hearing. This letter should have your A-number, name, and your request to have a bond hearing ASAP.
If your hearing is scheduled while you are still gathering evidence, you can tell the judge you are waiting for more letters and need to reschedule. You want to make sure you are prepared for your bond hearing.
What To Bring To You Bond Hearing
There are a couple of items you will need to bring to your bond hearing. Keep reading to learn more.
This is the most important document you can show your judge. It should include how the sponsor knows the person being detained. It should also say what legal immigration status the sponsor has (they need to be a U.S citizen or legal permanent resident).
The sponsor should also include proof of their immigration status in the letter, as well as an address where the detainee and sponsor will live. This must be a street address, not a P.O. box. To prove this, the sponsor should include a piece of mail with his or her name on it for proof of residence.
The sponsor should also include how they will support the detainee if they are released, as well as other factors that show ties to the community.
Other Supporting Documents
You will also need to gather as much proof as possible to show the judge that you have strong ties to your community. You must also be able to show that you won’t commit any crimes if you are released. You will also need these document for your bond hearing.
Evidence You’re Eligible For Deportation Relief
This includes anything that shows you have a strong case against deportation like evidence of past persecution or an I-130 approval notice. This could also be proof that your close relatives have legal status in the United States including birth certificates of any relatives that are US Citizens.
This could also include tax records, any letters of support from as many family members as you can get. This includes drawings from children, each letter needs identification of the person who wrote the letter. Letters of support from friends, neighbors, employers, landlords, religious leaders, etc, along with a copy of their identification.
Proof Of Family And Community
You will also want letters that show your involvement in the community, such as any religious or volunteer work you do. You should include a letter from you that reflects why you want to stay in the United States. You will also need proof of your financial support for your family, like proof of child support or a rent receipt.
You can include photos of your family including pets and babies from holidays, birthday parties. Certification from any rehabilitation programs and or any informational pamphlets from rehabilitation programs in your area. You will also need social security records, proof of property ownership, diplomas, certificates, awards, medical records.
If you have a marriage certificate, proof of debt like a car loan or mortgage, or evidence of serving in the armed forces, include that. You’ll also want letters from doctors that describe any health problems or trauma if you were deported.
Every person that writes a letter needs to include a copy of their identification including a driver’s license, passport and or permanent resident card.
If the letters aren’t in English, they will need to be translated with a “Certificate of Translation” at the end of the packet. And make sure you have three copies of everything, one for the judge, one for the government attorney and one for you.
Apply For An Immigration Bond
If you have the documents necessary and fit the requirements of someone eligible for an immigration bond, then start this process today. Remember to make sure you have all those letters before you see a judge, as those materials can really make or break your case. For more resources on law and the government, check out our blog.