ICE Inmates: How Can I Help My Family Member in Immigration Detention?

November 20, 2019

Action Immigration

Did you find out that your family member is being detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)? 

It can be scary to receive a phone call that someone you love is in an immigrant detention center. You want to get to them quickly and help them in any way possible. 

We've gathered together the most important steps you need to take to help ICE inmates. Just keep reading to learn more. 

What Should I Tell Them?

If you or a family member has been detained inside an ICE detention center, you should gather as many details from them as possible. Find out where they are being held.

Let them know that they should not sign anything without proper guidance. In some cases, immigrants unknowingly sign documents that agree to their deportation before getting a chance to get a hearing.

Be aware that it's not uncommon for an ICE inmate to be moved from one center to another unexpectedly. You may come to their aid only to find out they are no longer at that facility.

What Is an Immigration Bond?

When an immigrant is detained by the ICE they have the opportunity to be released if they are eligible for an immigration bond. This is a certain amount of money that can be paid to have your family member released until he or she returns for their hearing.

It's comforting to be able to get your loved one out of the ICE detention center but how is it done?

Rescue ICE Inmates

Getting an immigration bond is the fastest way to get them released if you know what to do. There are two ways your loved one can receive an immigration bond. First, their ICE immigration officer may find them eligible and set the bond amount. 

In this case, you would need to pay the bond within a week of it being set. They could be released within the same day of it being set if you act quickly. 

If the ICE does not set a bond, you can request an immigration bond hearing. Your family member will then receive a hearing where an immigration judge will decide if they are eligible.

Pay Their Immigration Bond

If your loved one receives an immigration bond then you can help them by becoming an immigration bond sponsor and paying off their bond. You can do this by calling the local immigration bonds office and scheduling an appointment.

You must be of legal United States status in order to become a sponsor. Start by calling the ICE immigration bond acceptance facility that is in your area.  

How to Pay: No Cash or Personal Check

Before you head over to your appointment, be sure you have the appropriate form of payment. They won't accept cash or personal check. You should arrive with a cashier's check made out to "Department of Homeland Security."

You will also need your original social security card and a valid photo ID. The entire process usually takes an hour to complete. As soon as the payment is made the ICE officer will notify the facility that your loved one is cleared to be released.

Get Ready for the Trial

Once you have your loved one in your arms and no longer surrounded by ICE inmates, you can at least breathe a sigh of relief that they are safe.

However, your next steps mean getting legal help to prepare for their hearing. Get the support you need to keep them in the country. Visit our site for help with the next steps in the process.

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