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Immigration Bond

A judge may allow some immigrants to be released from detention if they pay an immigration bond, the equivalent of a criminal bail.

Mazin Sidahmed

Sep 14, 2020

Shortly after being arrested by federal authorities, immigrants appear before an immigration judge to determine whether they are eligible to be released from detention on bond. The judge weighs several factors, including whether an immigrant has ties to anyone in the community, the likelihood they will flee before their next court date and the potential they will commit a crime if released.

The judge may determine a detainee is eligible for release if they pay a fee to the court, which serves as a deposit they’ll reclaim once the court proceedings are finished. This is a “bond,” which has a definition that’s interchangeable with criminal bail.

In immigration court, the minimum amount detainees are charged for bond is $1500. Historically, immigrants are charged double what citizens are charged for committing felonies and misdemeanors. Immigrants can also be released from detention “on recognizance” if they check in regularly with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, or if they volunteer to have an ankle monitor placed on them, which keeps track of where they are at all times.

Mazin Sidahmed

Mazin Sidahmed is the co-executive director of Documented. He previously worked for the Guardian US in New York. He started his career writing for The Daily Star in Beirut and he also contributed to Politico New York.

@mazsidahmed

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