If Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) or another entity has detained you or a loved one, then getting back to your family is understandably a priority. You may request an immigration bond hearing with an Immigration Judge (IJ), which will allow you to pay an amount of money to be released as you promise to come back to court when necessary. Because the U.S. government sees many immigrants as flight risks, it can be difficult to seek a bond when you’re detained by U.S. immigration officers. However, an immigration lawyer can help you with this process.
You may request an immigration bond hearing to take place either orally or in writing. If your bond hearing is to take place orally in court, then you will likely appear with your immigration lawyer in front of an IJ. However, if your bond hearing occurs in writing, your immigration lawyer can submit a brief detailing why you should be released on bond. These hearings require in-depth legal knowledge and documents crafted by an attorney.
Contact Solano Law Firm, LLC today to learn more about how we can help you with an immigration bond hearing.
How to Request an Immigration Bond Hearing
You may request an immigration bond hearing either orally or in writing. You may make an oral request while you are in court at your first court appearance. This is called a Master Calendar Hearing. If you are in detention for a period of time and have already had your first court appearance, you may submit a written request for an immigration bond hearing. This is called a motion for a court hearing.
It’s best to work with an immigration lawyer who can request an immigration bond hearing on your behalf. Both oral requests and written motions must include specific elements in order to be approved by an IJ. Don’t risk a denial. If you are ready to request an immigration bond hearing, contact our offices today.
Who May Be Released on Bond?
Although anyone can request an immigration bond hearing, not everyone will be released on bond. The IJ will consider many factors when determining if you should be released. The IJ does not have authority to grant your release on bond if the following are true:
- You are considered an “arriving alien,” or you are a non-citizen returning to the United States from a trip abroad.
- You have never been lawfully admitted to the United States.
- Your activities have threatened national security, such as terrorism, espionage, or sabotage.
- You committed certain crimes in the U.S., such as those related to drugs, fraud, or violence.
If your crime falls into the above-mentioned categories, then you may be under mandatory detention. In that case, you may not be eligible for an immigration bond hearing.
If an IJ decides that you are not eligible for an immigration bond hearing, but you think they are wrong, you can request a “Joseph hearing.” A Joseph hearing states that you are being confused with a different person who may have committed other crimes, and you should be eligible for an immigration bond hearing.
What Happens at an Immigration Bond Hearing?
An immigration bond hearing often takes place on the same day as your first Master Calendar Hearing. You will be transported from a detention facility to your hearings so that you are physically present in the courtroom. If your detention facility does not have an immigration court on site, then you may appear via video link in front of an IJ, or you may be transported by bus to a court facility.
You will likely be wearing federally issued clothing and shoes when you are led into the courtroom. You will not be wearing handcuffs or shackles unless the guards have reason to believe they are necessary. They will instruct you on where to sit, and you will not be allowed to speak with anyone except your attorney.
Reviewing Your Eligibility
During your immigration bond hearing, the IJ will review your immigration status to determine if you are eligible for a bond. It is up to the IJ’s discretion whether or not to grant you a bond. The IJ may decide not to grant a bond based on your past behavior or character. A large number of factors may play into the Immigration Judge’s determination at your bond hearing.
What Factors Will the IJ Consider in Determining Your Eligibility?
One of the primary factors an IJ will use at your immigration bond hearing is whether you are a flight risk. That is, if you will fail to return to the court if you are released on a bond. If you have family ties in the United States, can rent your own home or apartment, and are employed in the U.S., then you may not be considered a flight risk. You may invite close family members or your employer to your immigration bond hearing to testify that you would likely stay in the United States and appear for future hearings. You may also provide the IJ with birth certificates for your U.S. born spouse or children. Letters from your employer or family members may also help your case.
What Will the IJ Ask You?
The IJ will ask you and your attorney questions about your ties to the United States, including family, employment, and more. The IJ will also be interested in your past criminal history and whether you have complied with the court in the past. Letters from your friends, family, and employers may be used to discuss your moral character.
Immigration Bond Amount
The Immigration Judge has description regarding how much your bond should be. The minimum amount they may set your bond at is $1,500; however, they may set it much higher. If the IJ believes you are a flight risk or have considerable means, they may set your bond at $10,000 or as high as $20,000. There is no limit to how high an IJ may set your bond.
Your attorney and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may weigh in on the amount of your bond. However, ultimately, the IJ will be able to determine how much your bond should be. It’s best to work with an attorney who will fight to reduce your bond so that you can afford to leave incarceration after your immigration bond hearing.
Receiving an Immigration Bond Order
After an IJ grants your bond, they will issue a written order stating that the bond has been granted and the amount you must pay. The IJ will also schedule your Master Calendar Hearing, which typically takes place within 30 days. You will have an opportunity to pay your bond, and then you will be released from custody. You are required to come back to court for your next hearing. If you fail to appear, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
An Immigration Attorney Can Help You at an Immigration Bond Hearing
Immigration bond hearings can be daunting. You must properly request a hearing and then present evidence that supports your ability to be released on a bond. However, DHS might refute your bond or request an excessive amount for your bond. An experienced immigration attorney may be able to help you obtain an immigration bond hearing and seek a reasonable bond. Call Solano Law Firm, LLC for help with your bond hearing or that of a loved one.