In our last blog entry, we touched on a immigration bond hearing and how it can help you get your loved one out of ICE detention. But how does an immigration bond hearing work? And what is the criterial the judge uses to decide whether your loved one can be released on a bond?
First, know that not everyone who is detained by the Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is eligible to be released on bond. In order to be eligible, the immigrant must not be classified under “mandatory detention.” This means he/she can’t be one of the following:
- The immigrant is classified as an “arriving alien.” For example, a non-citizen who has returned to the US after taking a trip abroad.
- The immigrant has not been lawfully admitted into the United States
- The immigrant has committed activities that threaten national security, such as terrorism, sabotage, espionage, or an attempt to overthrow the government.
- The immigrant has committed certain crimes, such as selling drugs or committing fraud, and was released from police custody after 1998.
If your loved was has been determined ineligible for a bond, you do have the possibility of calling a “Joseph’s hearing.” We will discuss this more in detail in our next blog.
When the hearing is in session, the immigration judge will first review the status of the immigrant to make sure he/she is eligible for a bond. After that, the judge will then weigh any evidence to determine if your loved one is a flight risk or a danger to the community and the U.S. Some of the factors the judge will take into consideration include any family ties in the U.S., whether the immigrant owns or rents property, if he/she is employed, and whether the immigrant qualifies for any forms of relief from removal (such as a marriage-based green card or someone seeking asylum). The judge will ask the immigrant these questions and it will be helpful if there was evidence such as family members at the hearing or a W-2 form from his/her place of employment. You may also want to have an immigration attorney present to help present your loved one’s case.
To discover whether your loved one is a danger, the judge will be looking at any criminal history the immigrant may have. If your loved one does have a criminal past, you may want to get evidence from friends or members of the community to show how he/she has changed and has become a model citizen. It may also be beneficial to have proof of any participation in rehabilitation programs like substance abuse counseling.
Once the judge makes a decision, the bond will be set. The minimum amount is $1,500 and there is no cap on how high that bond amount can go. This is why it’s important to speak with an experienced immigration bondsman right away. Contact Freedom Federal Bonding Agency today for more information.