I think it is worth talking about the importance of bond in immigration court, in general. I probably have more experience fighting cases in immigration court than I do in any other area of the law, so I will address immigration court-related issues like bond in the next few weeks.
I have seen many very difficult cases and many very tragic situations in immigration court. I have also seen many glorious victories, where families have been able to have years together in the United States after a loved one is granted bond by an immigration judge. Thanks be to God, I have seen many more victories than defeats! I think that is the reason why I feel called to practice that area of law in particular. I understand how big the consequences are, and because the victories are very, very huge and sweet for the families involved. It is a privilege to be involved in the process.
First, a definition of bond is necessary. Many people understand the basic idea, but I think it is important to explain it in at least a little bit of detail: a bond is an amount of money that a person pays to immigration (usually between $3000 and $15,000) to guarantee that he or she will return for further immigration court hearings in the future after he or she gets out of jail. If that person does not return for a court date, then immigration keeps the money and the person loses it. If the person returns to every court hearing and completes their case, then he or she will get his or her money back.
When an Immigration Judge looks at the question of bond, he or she looks at many different factors. Immigration law says very clearly that an Immigration Judge should approve a bond for a person if that person is not a danger to the public or to private property, or if there is no evidence that the person will not come back after getting out of jail on a bond. However, the Detroit Immigration Court tends to be more strict than that.
Normally, the most important thing in Detroit when an Immigration Judge is considering bond is whether or not the person has a criminal record. The longer the criminal record, the less likely it is that he or she will get bond. Several other things are very important as well, however. I will write more on this topic in future posts. Thanks for reading.