Three Things You Must Do To Get Out of ICE Detention
Many individuals who are apprehended by ICE are released from detention. This happens in two ways. ICE can agree to release you with or without paying a bond (money you pay the Government to be released). Most likely, however, you will have to go before an Immigration Court Judge to request a bond.
Know Your RightsNot everyone is eligible to being released from custody. For example, individuals with serious criminal records have little to no chance of being released. No doubt being detained is scary, but for many individuals, it also may be an opportunity to obtain immigration relief. This is why it is important for you to do your best to know your rights and understand the process.
Unless you already have gone through immigration court proceedings, ICE has detained you in order to place you in immigration court proceedings where you have a right to have "your day in court" before an Immigration Judge. Many, many individuals are granted immigration relief after being placed in immigration court proceedings.
It is important to listen to and be respectful of any ICE official, but they are NOT your friends (no matter how nice they may seem) and you should never listen to them for immigration advice. And DO NOT sign any document unless you are absolutely sure you fully understand what you are signing.
Knowing your rights will help you protect those rights, which can be vital to you being released from detention and/or getting immigration relief in your immigration court proceedings.
Be Prepared at Your BOND Hearing Before Immigration Court JudgeAs noted above, unless ICE agrees to release you with or without a bond (which is unlikely unless they do not have space available), you will have to request a bond at a Bond Hearing before a Judge in immigration court. This is likely to take at least two weeks from the day you are detained and could take as long as four weeks (varies by region).
During this wait it is critical that you and your loved ones work on getting all necessary materials that will show you are NOT a security threat and NOT a flight risk. In short, you must show (1) you have a clean or minor criminal history and (2) that you can be trusted to appear at all of your immigration court hearings. You must submit materials to prove you are not a security threat or flight risk -- the more materials, the better. For example, documents that show you have been at the same address for a long time (bank records) can help establish you are not a flight risk. And documents that prove you have strong ties to a US citizen spouse, US citizen children, and/or US citizen parents are always helpful to bond hearing proceedings.
If successful, the Judge will order you to be released upon you paying a bond, which is likely to be anywhere from $5,000-$10,000, if you have no criminal record. Your bond amount can be higher, if you have a criminal record. Once you are released, you must show up at *all* future court appearances, and, if so, the Government will give you back your bond money.
Of course, the Judge can deny your request for a bond in which case you will remain detained throughout the entire duration of your immigration court proceedings. This is why it is so important to be as prepared as possible with documents and witnesses. You often have only ONE chance to prove you are NOT a security threat and you are NOT a flight risk.
Research Bond Hearing ProceedingsYou must perform careful research to make sure you are doing everything you can to help your case. No doubt that during this difficult period you will need to rely upon family members and friends to help you get information about the process as well as assist you gather the paperwork that is needed for a successful bond hearing.
Because bond hearings can be complicated and confusing, it is strongly advisable for you or your loved one to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. Many attorneys provide free telephone consultations. An experienced and trustworthy attorney will let you know if a bond hearing is possible (some individuals have no choice but to remain detained). Assuming a bond hearing is possible in your case, an experienced and trustworthy attorney can explain the likelihood of success, together with providing more information about this process and what you and your loved should expect.
Often, a qualified attorney can provide you and your loved ones with clarity and some comfort during this scary, complicated, and confusing process.