How Does Immigration Bail Work?

Immigration law

Can you bail someone out of ice?

Immigration and Custom Enforcement, referred to as ICE, is one of three agencies in America that work under Homeland Security. The other two agencies are Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Citizenship Services, and each of the three agencies has specific responsibilities to the American people and this country. Our concentration for this piece will be about ICE and immigration bail bonds

To know how immigration bail bonds work, we need to understand what is immigration bail first.  Persons needing immigration bail bonds are either Green Card holder or undocumented persons because they are being held by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). It is much like the basic bond for anyone that’s arrested, but with a detailed focus on immigration. 

If you know somebody that ICE has arrested and is detaining for immigration reasons, you need to get an immigration bond in order for them to be released from custody. Like other types of bail, this is a temporary release until their court appearance. Instead of a judge establishing their status of immigration and bond, it is done by ICE authorities, including the decision to release this person on personal recognizance. In this case, an immigration bail bonds won’t be necessary.

How does an immigration bail bond work?

In American, when ICE has arrested and taken a person into custody,  if they are not considered a threat, they could be released with one or two different types of immigration bail bonds.  Those two types of immigration bail bonds are: 

  1. Delivery bond – This type of immigration bail bond eligibility is determined by an immigration judge. ICE must have an arrest warrant for the detained person and provide that detainee a notice of custody conditions before consideration for delivery bond release. The delivery bond is one of two immigration bail bonds that acts in the same way as other bonds in America and is the American Immigration court to be assured the detainee will appear at all immigration hearings. This allows their release before those hearing so they can spend time with their family, retain an immigration lawyer, and prepare their case while getting their affairs in order. 
  2. Voluntary departure bond – This is the second of the two immigration bail bonds and is available when a detainee is given the option to leave America voluntarily by a specified date at their own expense.  The departure bond must be paid in full direct to ICE and is refundable after that person has departed the country. This immigration bail bond is forfeited if they fail to leave.

Who pays for immigration bail?

Certain qualifications must be met before a detained immigrant can be issued either of the two immigration bail bonds. Immigration bail bonds can be paid for in two ways:

  • A Surety Bond– Family or friends can find an immigration bond agent that  will charge a fee, typically in the amount of 15% to 20% of the bond amount set by the immigration judge. The fee paid to the immigration bond agent is non-refundable.
  • A Cash bond – Family or  friends of a detained person can pay ICE directly, in cash, cashier check, money order, or U.S. bonds or notes, the full amount of the immigration bail bonds. Once the case of the detainee is resolved and the person has attended all court ordered appointments, a refund is given. , and that money will be refunded once the detainee has attended all mandatory hearings in immigration court. 

How do I pay an immigration bail bond?

Immigration bail bonds that are paid out of pocket, it is recommended to do so with a cashier’s check that is made out to the “Department of Homeland Security”.  Another option is to locate and obtain the services of an immigration bail bonds agent or immigration lawyer to handle the release of the person being detained.

Can I pay immigration bail with a bond?

Yes, immigration bail bonds can be paid at the ICE detention center by the detained. Or a family member or friend can pay immigration bail bonds it at most immigration offices. Payment can be made in the form of a U.S. Post Office money order or a cashier’s check made out to Department of Homeland Security. Some immigration offices are able to handle cash payment for immigration bail bonds.

immigration paperwork

Do you get immigration bond back?

After detained persons have met all the conditions of the immigration bail bonds, attending all court-ordered hearings, and complied with all facets of the deportation order, ICE will send a notice of immigration bond cancellation to the obligor and to the Department of Homeland Security. Once the notice (from I-391) is received, the obligor must send it, Form I-305, and any other required materials to the Debt Management Center of Homeland Security.

A Clarification between Immigration Bail vs Surety Bond: Immigration bail bonds may be issued to any person that has been arrested and is detained by immigration authorities but has not  committed a crime.  If the person can obtain a bond, they are kept in a detention center. 

The purpose of immigration bail bonds is a punishment, but to push immigrants to appear in court.  Before immigration bail bonds are determined, the individual person’s criminal history and community connection, are considered, as well as if they are thought to be a flight risk. A surety bond is formed as a contract that involves three parties, the principal, the Immigration bail bonds agent, and the oblige. The purpose of the surety bond is a financial guarantee that the obligee will hold to all terms established by the immigration judge in regard to appearing for all court ordered activities.