According to the U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), there were 158,581 administrative arrests in the U.S. during ICE’s 2018 fiscal year. And since then it seems like every day there is news about more arrests by ICE, which is a division of the Department of Homeland Security.
Has ICE arrested a friend or family member of yours and is now held in custody by them? If so, you’ll be happy to know that not everyone arrested by ICE has to stay in custody until their case gets resolved.
Some get released on their own recognizance (for free) and some qualify for release by people posting immigration bail bonds for them.
Below we’ll explain more about the immigration bail bonds and how they work.
What Are Immigration Bail Bonds?
Immigration bonds are surety bonds that form an agreement between DHS, the person detained by ICE and the immigration bail bond service (also known as immigration bailsmen).
Immigration bonds are a guarantee to ICE that a detainee will not disappear and that they will fulfill certain requirements. The bond allows the detainee to get released from ICE’s custody.
Delivery bonds and voluntary departure bonds are the two main types of bonds available to those who qualify.
Delivery bonds allow the detainee to stay in the U.S. while ICE continues to process their case. The detainee must appear at all their immigration hearings and comply with any other requirements the judge ordered.
Voluntary departure bonds are an option for detainees who wants the option to leave the country voluntarily by a particular date. The detainee must also pay their own expenses to leave.
Bail bonds for immigration are not handled by regular bail bondsmen that assist people with arrests at the state (or lower) level of government. Since immigration violations fall under federal statutes, you will need to use immigration bondsmen.
Who is Eligible for Release on a Bond?
Immigration bond eligibility requirements must be met by a detainee before they are qualified.
Detainees who are a threat to public safety or national security are not eligible for release on bond.
Detainees accused of a crime may still be eligible for an immigration bond. But they may have to wait longer before they are eligible and they may have to pay any criminal bail that is set first.
Since there are four types of immigration bonds, the eligibility for each varies. It will be up to ICE or an immigration judge to determine which of the types the detainee qualifies for.
How Do These Bonds Work?
Here’s how immigration bail bonds procedures work.
An immigration bond can be obtained from an immigration bail bonds service once ICE or an immigration judge determines that a detainee qualifies for release on bond and sets the bond amount.
A friend or family member of the detainee must contact the immigration bail bonds service. They will need to pay the agent’s fee, a filing fee, and put up collateral for the bond amount required by ICE or the judge.
The agent’s fee is usually a percentage of the bond amount. It can vary depending on the immigration bondsmen used.
The collateral is to ensure the detainee will fulfill the requirements the judge issued for the detainee’s release. The type of assets used for collateral may also vary depending on the immigration bail bondsmen used. Common options are credit cards and real estate.
A detainee released on a delivery bond will have to fulfill requirements once released. If they don’t, they could be re-arrested and returned to ICE’s custody.
A delivery bond does not guarantee the detainee won’t get deported later. Nor does it end ICE’s case against them. The bond only allows the detainee to get released from custody while ICE processes their case.
When a judge determines a detainee is eligible for a delivery bond, a Notice of Custody Conditions (NCD) and Warrant of Arrest will get issued. Issuance of the NCD is important because it determines when the bond service can start making arrangements to post the bond.
When a detainee gets released on a voluntary departure bond, if the detainee fails to leave the U.S. the bond will get forfeited. But, so long as the detainee returns to their home country, the amount paid for the bond will get refunded to the person who paid it.
Information Your Bond Service Will Need
To find your friend or loved one, you will need to give your bond service the number assigned to the detainee by ICE or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
This number will be a nine-digit number that will start with the letter “A.” ICE and DHS will refer to this as the detainee’s File or Case Number.
If you don’t have the File or Case Number, you will need to provide the bond service with the full name of the detainee. You will also need to give them the detainee’s date of birth and the detainee’s country of origin.
Don’t Let Your Loved One Stay in Custody
Being in ICE’s custody can be a terrifying experience. A detainee will suffer stress not knowing what will happen to them or how long they will remain in custody.
So don’t delay getting the immigration bail bonds process started.
You do not want your loved one to have to stay in custody any longer than they have to.
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