How can I get an Immigration Bond? If you are arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a bond can be set either by ICE or at a bond hearing before an Immigration Judge.
If your bond is set by ICE and it is too high, your attorney may request that ICE set a lower bond. Your Attorney may submit documentation showing that you are not a danger to people or property and that you do not pose a flight risk. If ICE does not reduce the bond, or the bond amount is still too high, your attorney may file a request for a bond hearing with an Immigration Judge to ask for a lower bond.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Bond Hearing?
An immigration bond hearing is usually scheduled as soon as possible. It can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks to get a hearing, depending on how full the court’s docket is.
What happens at an immigration bond hearing?
At your bond hearing, the Immigration Judge may begin by asking you questions to determine if you are eligible for a bond. If you have a criminal record, it may make you ineligible for bond. It is important to review this information with an experienced immigration attorney so that you have the best chance of arguing that you are eligible to get a bond.
If the judge finds you eligible for a bond, the judge will proceed to consider any evidence you have to show you are not a flight risk or danger to society. At this time your attorney should present evidence that you lack a serious criminal history, are financially stable, have strong family and community ties here in the United States, have stayed here for many years, do not have a history of immigration violations, and have attended any court dates in the past. You may be asked about any prior arrests or criminal history by either the judge or the attorney for ICE.
Do I qualify to get an immigration bond?
The answer to this question is maybe. Not everyone will qualify for a bond.
- You do not qualify for a bond if you are subject to mandatory detention due to certain final criminal convictions that you have.
- If mandatory detention is required you can request what is called a “Joseph Hearing”. During this hearing the Immigration Judge will decide if you are subject to mandatory detention. If the judge decides that you are not, you will then become eligible for a bond.
- You may not be eligible for a bond if you entered the United States unlawfully and never obtained lawful status in the United States and have a final conviction of any of the following crimes:
- A crime of moral turpitude
- Any offense related to a controlled substance
- Two or more offenses for which you received a total sentence of 5 years or more;
- Drug trafficking offenses
- Prostitution or hiring a prostitute; or
- Terrorist activities
Can they deport me without having an immigration bond hearing?
Yes, if you have committed one of the crimes that require mandatory detention
There are certain offenses that may place you in what is known as expedited removal proceedings and would not be entitled to a bond hearing. Those crimes include what are known as the Aggravated Felonies as defined under §101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which include the following and more:
- Sexual abuse of a minor
- Drug-trafficking crimes or any illicit trafficking in any controlled substances
- Theft offenses for which you receive a sentence of at least one year (even if the sentence is probated)
Can I get an immigration bond if I have a criminal record?
Yes, possibly. If you have a criminal record, whether you are able to get a bond depends on what is contained in your record and what other evidence you can present to the court. In deciding whether to set a bond for a person with a criminal history, an Immigration Judge will consider what crimes the person was convicted of and what punishment was imposed for those crimes. Depending on your criminal background, your attorney may be able to submit evidence to show that you are not a risk to people or property and are not a flight risk.
If I get an immigration bond does it mean I can stay in the United States?
It means you can stay in the United States while your immigration case is still ongoing. However, paying your bond does not mean you have absolute freedom. If you get out on bond, it is not the end of your case. You still have to make sure that you are in attendance at all of your hearings once you are bonded out. If you miss an immigration court hearing, you can be ordered removed or “deported” for failure to appear. If you are ordered removed, then you will not have a chance to give evidence to the Immigration Judge or ask to remain here in the United States.
If you were to be removed for failure to comply with a court appearance then you would not be allowed to return to the United States for at least 5 years. In some cases you may not be allowed to return for up to 20 years, and in some cases you might be permanently barred from entering into the United States. Also, if you fail to attend your court hearings, any bond that was paid on your behalf is forfeited.
How do I pay an immigration bond?
To post an immigration bond, the person supplying the money must show proof of identity and lawful immigration status. This person is known as the “obligor” and is responsible for making sure that the person in removal proceedings appears at all hearings.
To post a bond for a person that is being detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you must post the bond at DRO Duty Section, 126 Northpoint, Houston, Texas 77060. The office hours are Monday through Friday (except public holidays) between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and they are closed for lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily.
**Acceptable forms of payments for bonds are Cashier’s Check from a bank or Postal Money Order. These must be made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”.**
How can I get an Immigration Bond?
Find out if you qualify for an immigration bond and get answers to your questions – contact an experienced immigration lawyer. To schedule a consultation with the Law Office of Kathryn N. Karam, P.C., click here: