Zero tolerance policy. Parents separated from children. Tales of maltreatment in detention centers. More than likely, most undocumented immigrants worry about at least one of these things. Yet, they take the risk for a better life. But, what happens if they are picked up? Is it possible to obtain release on an immigration bond?
If you talk to many American born citizens, they have never heard of the term immigration bond. In fact, they most likely associate bail bonds with criminal charges. In those cases, a defendant posts bail to get out of jail. Truth be told, it’s just a temporary fix. Posting bail serves to guarantee a court appearance. And, nothing more.
The concept is essentially the same with an immigration bail bond. You – or someone on your behalf – put up money to get you out of the detention center. However, it’s not an automatic process. It starts with ICE or an immigration judge setting a bail amount. Next, it’s important to meet with an experienced immigration bail bonds agent to get things rolling.
Here’s the thing. A variety of variables go into setting an immigration bond. The whole idea is that you are essentially putting up money as a promise that you will show up for your deportation hearing. If you don’t, the government will seek you out. Your bail will be revoked, and you can just about forget about a second chance of freedom until your next hearing.
The Statistics and Immigration Bonds
In our last article, we gave you some information regarding how long it takes to actually get to the deportation hearing stage. Here in Houston, many facing deportation are looking at an average of 1000 days. That’s a whole lot of time for anyone. All things considered, it’s even more for someone whose only crime was crossing the border to escape fear of death or poverty.
It’s hard to imagine how much money you’ll need to come up with to secure your release until the immigration hearing. Are we talking hundreds? Or, thousands of dollars? The answer varies according to a review of case court records.
On a national basis, one in four persons detained for immigration reasons is released on an immigration bond. As of May 2018, that equated to 23,577 individuals. Compare that number to last year’s total of 31, 355 people.
Meanwhile, what is the median amount of immigration bonds? Since 2015, the number was $7500. From 2001-2014, the average immigration bond was $5000. In years prior, the range was from $2500-$3500.
That said, here’s another interesting statistic. In the mid-90s, more than a third of immigration bonds were issued for less than $5000. Year to date, only 5% of individuals were permitted to obtain temporary release for that amount. Instead, just under 30% of immigration bonds fall into the range of $5,000-$7500.
Local Immigration Bond Statistics
What are your chances of obtaining an immigration bond if your case is heard in Houston? During the first eight months of 2018, the court ruled on 3,348 immigration bond applications. Of that number, 1,275 were deemed eligible for an immigration bond. A quick calculation means that 36.9% of immigration bond requests were granted in Houston.
The median amount of the immigration bonds were slightly over the national average at $8,000. All things considered, that’s a whole lot better than some other parts of the country. For example, there’s Tacoma, Washington. There, over 50% of immigration bond applications are approved. However, the median immigration bond amount is $15,000.
Meanwhile, there’s something you should know. All of these amounts are totals. When you secure the services of an immigration bail bonds agency, you are working to post a surety bond. The cost is based on a percentage of the bond amount.