Immigration Bonds – What Are They?
Immigration bonds are similar to County bail bonds in that they both are used to secure the release of a person being held in detention. If your friend or loved one has been detained by ICE and they’ve been told they can be released on an immigration bond then their friends and/or family can post the bond to secure their release while they work through the system to fight for their right to stay in this country legally. You can work with a reputable immigration bonding agent to not only get the bond posted, but they can also help answer the many questions you are likely to have about the whole immigration bonding process.
Immigration Bail Bonds Basics
When Federal Law Enforcement officials believe an individual is in this country and doesn’t have the required status to be in the U.S. legally, that individual may be arrested and detained by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement or I.C.E. and sent to an immigration detention center.
If the detainee doesn’t have a previous order for removal (a previous deportation order), and they were not detained due to certain criminal activity, there is a possibility they may be eligible for an immigration bond. This only applies if the person being detained was NOT picked up by ICE or other agents while attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally. If that is the case, they will automatically be deemed ineligible for any immigration bonds. They will also most likely be charged with illegal entry and could be deported back to their home country without the possibility of appealing for a bond.
As mentioned earlier, immigration bonds and county bail bonds are similar in that they both allow detainees to be released from custody while their case is pending before the courts. If the presiding ICE official determines the detainee is not a flight risk and will most likely return to court as ordered, and they don’t pose a safety risk to the community, then most likely an immigration bond will be granted. Unfortunately, here recently it appears the granting of immigrations bonds may sometimes be based more on politics rather than actual law. However, that’s a topic for another article.
Immigration Bonds vs. Bail Bonds
Again, as mentioned at the start of this article, immigration bonds have some similarities to county bail bonds. Both are a type of insurance policy posted within the court system; immigration bonds are posted within the Federal court system, while county bail bonds are posted within the county criminal court system. Each require a co-signer. A co-signer is the person who takes full responsibility of the defendant’s required appearances in court. If, for whatever reason, the defendant does not appear as required, the co-signer will be held responsible for either returning the defendant to the courts or paying the full amount of the bonds.
In both cases, the co-signer must have the correct legal status to be in the U.S., and they must be able to produce a proper government issued ID.
How Much Are Immigration Bonds?
Good question! The answer is: it depends. Bond amounts, whether immigration or county, are set by officials of each jurisdiction and are based on information such as previous criminal activity, community involvement, family dynamics and any other information the deciding officials may have access to. There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” in the bonding industry.
If any immigration official reviews and individual’s file and determines they have not been previously charged with any type of criminal or civil activity, and they do not pose a threat to the community, they may receive an immigration bond as low as $1500.
On the other hand, if the immigration official see that there has been some criminal activity in the past, depending on the severity of that activity, the official may set a bond as high as $50,000.
Further, if the immigration official has data that shows the detainee indeed does have a significant criminal history, or the prior criminal charges are elevated (aggravated, etc.), there is a strong possibility that no bond will be granted at all, and the detainee will most likely be deported back to their home country.
Which Bail Bonds Do You Need?
There are county bail bonds, federal bail bonds and immigration bail bonds. Confused yet? Well, hold on a sec and we’ll try to explain each of them.
County Bail Bonds are bonds that are issued at the county level and are used for felony and misdemeanor criminal charges. These bonds can’t be used for securing the release of someone being held in immigration detention.
Federal Bail Bonds are split into two (2) different types of bonds; those that are used for federal level criminal activity and those that are used for immigration detention. Federal bonds that are used for the release of individuals due to their immigration status are civil, not criminal!
If, for example, your loved one is being held at an ICE detention center, you will want to contact a bail bondsman that is licensed to handle immigration bonds. Most regular bail bonds companies are not licensed to provide immigration bonds, and actually shy away from such bonds. But there are many bonds companies that do handle immigration bail bonds and are able to assist you and your family.
Cost of Immigration Bail Bonds
The cost to purchase immigrations bonds will depend on a couple of different factors. First, ICE will require the full amount of the bond to be posted either by a family member using a cashier’s check or through a bonding company who will post the bond for the family. If using a bonding company, the family will most likely be required to pay between 10% and 20% of the bond, along with securing the bond with some sort of collateral.
Different immigration bonding companies have different requirements, so be sure to shop around if you’re in the market for an immigration bond for your friend or family member.
All immigration bonds require a cosigner. A cosigner is someone who will take responsibility for ensuring the detainee appears at all court proceedings as required. Their may be times when ICE officials may request the detainee appear at an ICE facility on occasions not related to an official court hearing. The cosigner is responsible for ensuring the detainee makes those appearances as well.
What Happens If The Detainee Does Not Go To Court?
If the detainee missed a required court hearing or doesn’t comply with a request to appear in person at an ICE facility, the cosigner will have a very limited time in which to bring the detainee to requesting facility. If that does not happen in a timely manner, the cosigner will be responsible for paying the full amount of the immigration bail bond.
If the immigration bond was paid directly to an ICE facility, then the cosigner may run the risk of not having their money returned. If the bond was processed through an immigration bail bonds office, and the bond was set up on a payment plan, then the cosigner is still responsible for paying the difference of whatever is owed and what has already been paid.
When posting immigration bonds through a bail bonds company, you’ll need to pay the bondsman’s fee and make payment arrangements for paying the bond itself. Since each bail bond office is different, be sure to ask what options are available for covering the cost of the immigration bond.
We Can Help With Your Bail Bonds
Whether you need help with an immigration bond or criminal bonds, Southern Bail Bonds Dallas can help. We can post immigration bonds for any ICE detention center in the county. Additionally, we can post criminal bonds for all jails in Dallas County and many jails throughout the nation.
If you have questions, give us a call at 214-372-2500. We will work hard to help you get the answers you are looking for. Call us NOW, we’re ready to help!