Even one day sitting in a detention center may seem like an eternity. It’s bad enough that your fate is so uncertain. Truth be told, immigration cases are backlogged. For all you know, it may be a very long time before you even get to plead your defense against deportation.
In some ways, there’s a bit of irony. As bad as conditions might seem in the detention center, at least you are in the United States. After all, there’s a reason you left your native country. Perhaps it was that you were afraid – or simply could not afford to live or support your children.
The number of undocumented immigrants awaiting deportation hearings may astound you. As of a couple of months ago, pending cases in Texas amounted to over 107K. Nearly half of those matters are right here in Houston. That said, you may wonder just how long it takes to actually get your case heard.
Once again, time does not necessarily seem to be of great concern. No doubt it all has to do with the scores of undocumented immigrants hoping the United States will allow them to stay. Statewide, the average waiting time for a deportation hearing is 897 days. In Houston, the waiting period is over 1,000 days.
Break down that 1,000 days and it becomes over 32 months or more than 142 weeks. That’s certainly a long time to be confined in a detention center. Worse yet? You or a loved one may get the feeling of jail – with your sole crime – illegal entry into the country.
So, is there anything you can do to make the process go quicker? For starters, you may want to consider an immigration bond. At the very least, you’ll want to ensure some amount of freedom while you worry about your future.
Immigration Bonds and the Case Backlog
In many cases, you can avoid sitting in a detention center by purchasing an immigration bond. Of course, the first step will be to determine eligibility. ICE itself could find that it would be appropriate to let you out on bail. They would then set the amount and you will need to work with an experienced immigration bail bonds agency to put it in place.
Generally speaking, this process is done within a week after confinement to the detention center. Eligibility is based on a few factors. Are you a flight risk? Is this the first time you have entered the country without the right paperwork? Are you accused of any crime other than illegal entry into the United States?
An immigration judge may also set your bail amount using the same considerations. The objective is to ensure you show up at the deportation hearing. Additionally, if your release could put others at risk, you may not be allowed out on immigration bond.