Immigration Bond Information
Once an immigrant/alien is detained by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or the Department of Homeland Security, bond generally becomes an option. Initial bond is determined by the ICE officer at the time of arrest. However, these bond determination are often randomly assigned with little consideration for the aliens/immigrants situation.
Usually, the alien/immigrant will be detained until the first Master Calendar Hearing (MCH), where a judge will have the opportunity, separate and apart from the removal proceedings, to assess the ICE bond and "re-determine" an appropriate amount. There is no hard and fast rule for bond amounts, with the exception that the minimum bond is $1500. Having said that, there are several caregories of crimes that if committed by the alien, prevent any bond from being issued. A summary list follows, but the regulations specifically governing bond assignments by EOIR (Executive Office for Immigration Review) judges are at the bottom of the page.
Typical bars to bond (meaning that there will be no bond and the immigrant/alien will be required to remain in detention) are:
- Crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT). These include crimes of theft and lying to the government. For example:
- Crimes involving domestic violence.
- Crimes involving drugs.
- Sexual crimes.
- Crimes that have a sentence greater than 1 year in jail (whether imposed or not). Referred to as aggravated felonies.
- Multiple crimes under that have a sentence under 1 year, but add up to over 1 year, and are not otherwise related to the same infraction.
Note -- the court has some wiggle room on a few of these categories above. Be sure to review the entire regulation below for specific details.
What Bond Can you Expect?
If the detained alien/immigrant is granted bond, typically the court will weigh the positive factors against the dispositive factors (crime). Positive factors include steady job (and paying taxes!), strong family connection in the community, and owning property (less likely to run).
Bond rates vary GREATLY by judge, and it is quite subjective. However, as an estimated cost, a typical misdemeanor with no other criminal record will run $5000. One DUI is typically $5000. A second DUI is $10000. A third DUI is almost impossible to bond. A drug conviction of under 30 grams of marijuana will typically bond at around $7000.
How to Pay Your Bond
To pay a bond, once granted by the court, you will need the following before you can pay bond. Be sure to bring these items to your Master Calendar Hearing!
- Passport: the person paying the bond must show that he/she is a US Citizen. Some courts allow LPR's to post bond, but many do not. If you do not have a passport, bring a birth certificate or naturalization document.
- Cashiers Check: You cannot pay with cash or personal check. Again, there are some variations depending on the court, but it is safest to assume that you cannot pay with cash. Bring a bank check or money order.
- Copy of the Order: You will need to have a copy of the order, usually sent from judges chambers at the same court where the bond hearing was held.
Once the bond has been paid, the court will send an electronic message to the jail where the immigrant/alien is being held. Out-processing takes about one to two hours.
East Coast Legal Group is very experienced in helping people who are detained for immigration proceedings. We have extensive court experience in all aspect of immigration law -- including Padilla hearings and appeals. Naturally, we are experienced in obtaining bonds for difficult cases. Criminal past, illegal status, and just simple confusion about what forms to complete and how to submit them are all issues our firm is comfortable and used to resolving. Let us help you!
Regulations Governing Bond Determinations
Want to know how the judge determines when and how to apply bond? Read the manual written by the EOIR for judges!
This is a must read for any person going through the immigration bond process. Click Here