In my last post, I touched on the subject of bond in immigration court. I offered a definition of bond for those who may not understand exactly what it is, and I talked briefly about who qualifies for bond and who does not. This subject is very important, because when someone is detained by immigration, an immigration judge’s decision to grant or deny bond could determine whether the person will ever see their family again in the United States, or whether the person could stay in the United States for years attempting to fight his or her case from home, with the help of family and community. If a judge denies bond, it might be several years before the person can be reunited with his or her family.
I would like to address the subject of bond a bit further this week. As I said last week, the two most important questions that immigration judges ask when they are deciding to grant or deny a bond are (1) whether the person is dangerous to people or public property or not, and (2) whether there is any evidence that the person will not come back to court after paying his or her bond, if the immigration judge were to say yes to a bond.
These two factors are the most important factors. However, there are several other important issues that immigration judges care about as well. If a detained person has no connections to any community in the United States, an immigration judge will probably not want to give the person bond. However, if a person regularly attends a church or some other community organization, or if the person has many family members that are legally present in one community in the United States, the immigration judge may believe that the person is less likely to run from court after being released on bond, and more likely to return to court.
An immigration judge will also think a person is more likely to return to court after being released from jail if he or she actually has a defense in immigration court. Maybe only twenty-five to thirty-five percent of individuals in immigration court do qualify for any kind of defense, so when a person has a possible defense, then an immigration judge will be more likely to give that person a bond. The immigration judge will think that a person is more likely to come back to court if that person may actually be eligible for a green card or other legal status in the United States from immigration court.
This conversation about Immigration Court will be continued in future posts, stay tuned.