What Is A Bond Hearing And How To Request One

September 16, 2019

Action Immigration

When ICE makes an immigration arrest, they assign the arrested person a "risk category." This category determines whether or not the detained person will get an immigration bond and what size bond they receive.

Anyone considered to be a danger to the community or likely to disappear won't get a bond.

But today, the size of immigration bonds are much higher than they were 10 years ago. In 2008, it wasn't uncommon for an immigration bond to be $50. Today, ICE regularly sets bonds at tens of thousands of dollars.

This change in tactic has made bond hearings more essential to immigrants than ever. What is a bond hearing, and how do you get one? Here's what you need to know.

What is a Bond Hearing?

An immigration bond hearing is a chance for the bonded person to do one of two things:

  1. Request an immigration bond
  2. Request a reduction of the assigned immigration bond

The bond hearing allows the arrested person to make a case for themselves to go through their immigration process at home by paying a bond and abiding by conditions set by the judge.

Bond hearings are not available to those who have previously been deported or who have an outstanding deportation order.

How to Request an Immigration Bond Hearing

A bond hearing is separate from all the other immigration hearings. One of those differences is that you must request it for yourself.

There are several ways to request a hearing.

Your relative may have requested the hearing already. If they checked the box on Form I-286 that notes the request for "redetermination of this custody decision by an immigration judge," then they request the hearing. If you're unsure of whether this happened because you don't have the form, you can file another request.

You will need to request the bond hearing in a letter and send it to the correct immigration court (the one presiding over your case). 

If your first hearing is scheduled soon, then you can request it orally. If the first hearing already took place, you can still ask for it at later hearings.

Be Prepared to Submit Evidence ASAP

If you intend to request a bond hearing, you need to be ready to demonstrate your eligibility at the time of your request.

If you can't have your paperwork, witnesses, and other evidence together in a few days, then it's prudent to wait to file the request.

Waiting is essential because you have one opportunity to make your case in front of a judge. Failing to produce solid evidence can result in a rejection or a sky-high bond amount, which means you will spend the rest of your case in a detention center.

Work Quickly (and Be Thorough) to Get Out of Detention

If ICE arrests someone you love, you need to work quickly to get them out on bond. In some cases, ICE can deport or move people within days — or even hours — after the arrest.

In some cases, they need to request a bond hearing. What is a bond hearing? It's a second chance at an obtaining immigration bond or lowering the cost of an immigration bond.

Was someone you know arrested? Click here to learn more about how to pay for an immigration bond.

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