The DC immigration bond lawyers at our law office understand how crucial it is to receive legal assistance when you are detained during removal proceedings. Contact our law offices to speak with a DC immigration attorney who can help with your case.
Certain immigrants who violated immigration laws by overstaying their visas, entered unlawfully, and violated their lawful status by being convicted of certain criminal offenses, may be detained by the Department of Homeland Security or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) before and/or during their removal proceedings. Because removal proceedings can last months and sometimes even years, it is of critical importance to contact a DC immigration bond lawyer as soon as you or a loved one is detained by ICE, so they can evaluate your eligibility for a bond.
- What Are Immigration Bonds?
- Mandatory Detention
- Immigration Bond Process
- The Importance of Quick Action
An immigration bond is what a person pays the Department of Homeland Security to release an individual who is in immigration detention.
People generally get placed in immigration detention when they are caught entering the United States illegally, or have done something to violate their legal status in the United States, such as committing a crime or overstaying a non-immigrant visa.
When somebody is detained for violating an immigration law, the government will evaluate whether they are eligible for a bond. Some people who have committed serious crimes can be subjected to mandatory detention which means they are ineligible for a bond.
Aside from people with a serious criminal background, mandatory detention can be applied to people who have just arrived in the United States at a border or other point of entry, and have no legal basis for being here. Depending on a number of factors, these people may be ineligible for a bond unless they can prove that they have a credible fear for returning to their home country. Credible fear means that they have the possibility of becoming eligible for asylum, and if they can prove this to a USCIS adjudicator, they may be eligible for a bond.
A bond is not available to a person who has criminal issues that make them ineligible, or if they are considered arriving aliens and cannot prove that they have a credible fear of returning to their home country.
Immigration Bond Process
The first stage of the process is when an individual is first detained. Usually, you can apply for a bond directly with the ICE official or the ICE office who is in charge of the case. ICE has jurisdiction to grant a bond in many cases at this initial stage, before a case is initiated in immigration court. Once a person begins their removal proceedings in front of an immigration judge, the judge has jurisdiction to issue a bond.
When you apply for a bond directly with an immigration judge, you must have a bond hearing and present the positive factors surrounding your case. Most importantly, you have to convince the judge that they are not a flight risk or danger to the community.
Bond hearings vary greatly from case to case. There are many factors that go into an immigration judge’s decision about whether to grant a bond, including an immigrant’s family and community ties in the US, employment history, severity of their criminal record and immigration violations, potential options for relief (i.e. whether they have options to apply for legal status within the US), their financial resources, and the length of time they have been present in the country. The immigration judge will weigh all the positive factors in your case with their opinion on whether they believe you are a danger to the community or a threat to national security. Your immigration bond attorney in DC can prepare evidence and a comprehensive legal brief in your case to convince the judge to grant a reasonable bond. Your DC immigration bond lawyer can call witnesses to testify on your behalf.
The Importance of Having an Attorney Present During an Immigration Bond Hearing
At the beginning of a case, an immigration bond hearing attorney can get in contact with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It is easier for an attorney to get in contact with ICE and negotiate for a bond.
This is very important for people who may be eligible for a bond directly from ICE because a person can avoid the hassle of having to wait in jail and wait for a bond hearing in front of the immigration judge. Also, it may be in your best interest to retain a DC immigration bond attorney, as they can present a more compelling case to the judge as to why they should allow your release.
The Importance of Quick Action
It is important to work quickly when you or a loved one is in immigration custody for several reasons. First of all, jail is obviously not a pleasant experience and it can take several weeks for a bond hearing at an immigration court to occur. Thus, it is important to request a bond hearing as soon as possible.
In many cases where an immigrant has only recently been detained, the ICE officials will have custody of the case and jurisdiction to determine the bond for several days or even weeks before the first hearing, which transfers the case to the immigration judge. In some cases, ICE can be more lenient in deciding whether to grant a bond to a detainee, and the cost of the bond.
Therefore, in many cases, acting fast as opposed to waiting to find an attorney can mean the difference between thousands of dollars in terms of the bond amount, and sometimes whether the detainee will be eligible for a bond or not.