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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: Bond hearings

When the Attorney General issues a warrant, a noncitizen may be detained as he or she awaits a decision on deportation from the country. This situation generally arises when a noncitizen has been found guilty of a serious crime – one that is detailed in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detains undocumented or noncitizen immigrants transferred into its custody from local jails or state prisons. The office keeps those with unlawful status even when criminal charges are dismissed.

Bond hearings

In the United States, due process requires a bail hearing for detainees, which is held by ICE within a reasonable time to determine whether a nonresident is a flight risk or danger to the community. ICE offers bond to noncitizens who have a minor criminal history and no removal order or any other serious immigration issues. For example, if a person has multiple drunk driving offenses, might reduce his or her chance of receiving bond.

When a noncitizen is in custody at a state or local detention center, he or she should contact an experienced immigration attorney right away. A lawyer can contact the appropriate deportation official and begin making a case for a bond payment before the individual is transferred into ICE custody. A professional can also help family members collect funds so that the detained person can avoid detention.

Types of bonds

There are two types of immigration bonds available to undocumented aliens that are in ICE custody:

  • An undocumented immigrant who has been detained may be eligible for a delivery bond. This decision is based on the determination of ICE or an immigration judge. In this process, a detainee will receive an arrest warrant and a notice of custody conditions before he or she is released. The purpose of this bond is to encourage the detainee to show up to all relevant hearings. It allows the person to spend time with his or her family and consult with an immigration lawyer.
  • A voluntary departure bond allows a detainee to voluntarily leave the country at his or her own cost by a specified period. The departure bond is refundable once the person has left the United States, but will be forfeited if the person does not leave.

Immigration law can be compound. Much of a case’s outcome depends on the particular situation of the person involved. If you or a family member is confronting a serious immigration matter, do not wait before it is too late. Based on your particular status, your rights may already be limited. If you work closely with a qualified immigration lawyer, you can receive professional legal guidance at every stage of your matter. An attorney can give you the support that you need.