December 27, 2018
I'm in jail!
That's one of the worst things you can hear when you answer the phone. Even worse is when the person on the other end tells you they're in ICE custody.
The main goal of a person in ICE custody is freedom and they've asked you for help paying their bond. Where do you turn? Even if you have the money you have no clue how to pay an immigration bond.
We've put together some basic information that should help you figure out your next steps.
Continue reading for help understanding immigration bonds and how to pay them.
Immigration bonds, also known as ICE Form-I352, are one of the first things discussed between an immigration agent and a detainee. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is the agency responsible for tracking down and detaining people who are in the United States illegally.
Detainees usually need help posting bond and depend on friends and family for assistance. It's helpful if you can gain an understanding of the immigration bond process before getting involved in your friend's case.
As far as the definition of the term, an immigration bond is no different than bond associated with regular criminal cases. Bond ensures a defendant will show up for all scheduled court proceedings. There are two types of immigration bonds.
When ICE detains a person one of the first things the ICE agent determines is bond eligibility and the bond amount. Most detainees are eligible for bond. Certain detainees with criminal histories may not be eligible.
If denied bond, a detainee may request a review by an immigration judge. The detainee goes before the immigration judge and discusses why they deserve a bond. Detainees may also ask for a lower bond at this hearing.
If the judge grants bond the next step is payment.
The least amount for an immigration bond is $1500. ICE can request a higher bond. Judges do set bonds much higher than the legal minimum amount.
Once you know the bond amount there are specific steps you must follow.
The person paying the immigration bond must have legal status in the United States. If you don't have legal status, find another friend or family member who is in the United States legally.
Cash is not accepted for immigration bond payments. Personal checks are not accepted either. If you're handling the bond payment, you should get a certified cashier's check.
Any person making a bond payment in person must bring a valid I.D. and their original social security card.
Yes, an appointment is necessary and must be made through the local ICE office. Not all ICE offices receive bonds. Make sure you schedule your appointment with the correct ICE office or you risk a delay of the bond payment.
If you live too far from the ICE detention facility where your friend is being held, contact an ICE office and ask where you can bring your payment.
If you're feeling overwhelmed you're not alone. The immigration system can feel confusing and at times, hostile.
We have good news because there are easier payment options.
The immigration system can be confusing and feel overwhelming. It's easy to feel intimidated. Confusion and intimidation aren't the biggest hurdles face by people helping detainees.
One of the biggest issues detainees and their families face is lack of funds for bond payments. Most detainees don't have access to their own money. Often, friends and family are short on cash.
If this is your situation, consider contacting an immigration bond service.
A bond service saves you time. The service takes care of the arrangements for the bond payment. You won't waste time figuring out the system. Working with a bond service guarantees a more efficient release from custody.
Once ICE receives the bond payment, they begin the release process. You and your loved one can relax.
Release from ICE custody is a relief but it's not the end of the relationship with ICE.
The detainee's time in custody may have come to an end, but that's not the end of the story.
When you use a bond service you put up collateral for the bond payment. This means you have an interest in making sure your friend follows all instructions provided upon their release from custody. The detainee must a provide a permanent address, show up for all future court dates, and follow any other rules in their release papers.
Action Immigration Bonds and Insurance Services Inc. help detainees and their families figure out how to pay an immigration bond.
If you're considering helping a friend or loved one who's still in custody, or if you have more questions about immigration bonds, contact us today.
Our multilingual professional Immigration Bond agents are available 24 hours a day.
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Our agents can tell you more about your particular needs.
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