If your loved one has been detained, he or she may ask an immigration judge to order his or her release under bond while his or her case is pending. A bond is an amount of money paid to the Department of Homeland Security to guarantee that the detainee will appear in court for all of his or her hearings and obey the immigration judge’s order. If your loved one attends all of his or her hearings, and obeys the judge’s order, then the money will be returned to the person who paid the bond at the end of the proceedings (regardless of whether he or she wins or loses).

If your loved one does not appear in court, the money will not be returned and he or she may be ordered removed or deported by the immigration judge. A judge cannot order a loved one’s release or set a bond if he or she was detained while entering the United States or if he or she has been convicted of serious crimes (although some exceptions apply). Consult an attorney to discuss whether your loved one is eligible for a bond.

The immigration judge will consider two factors when deciding whether to grant, reduce or increase a bond: 1) Whether your loved one will be a danger to the community and 2) Whether your loved one will be a flight risk if released.