What to Expect at an Immigration Bond Hearing

For many immigrants, it is a frightening time to be in the United States. The political climate and back-and-forth immigration legislation place an enormous mental and emotional burden on those here both legally and otherwise.

After being detained by ICE, getting back home is the top priority. The first step in doing that is to request a bond hearing from the immigration judge. This can be done in writing or orally at your first court hearing (also called a Master Calendar Hearing). Let us help with this whole process.

Who is eligible for bond?

Unfortunately, not all detainees are eligible for a bond hearing. The following circumstances will prevent you from being eligible for a hearing:

  • You entered the U.S. unlawfully and never obtained lawful status in the country. This applies to those who crossed the border without presenting official documents at the U.S. port of entry.
  • You’ve been classified as an “arriving alien.”
    • You’re suspected of participating in activities that threaten the U.S. government and its citizens, such as terrorism or espionage.
  • You’ve committed or have been convicted of certain crimes, including crimes involving moral turpitude (subject to the petty offense exception), crimes of violence, drug trafficking offenses (subject to one conviction for possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana), and others, during your time in the U.S.

If you fall under the above categories, you will be subject to mandatory detention for the duration of your removal proceedings. If you disagree with your ineligibility for a bond hearing, you may request a “Joseph Hearing” which allows you to present a case for your bond hearing eligibility.

At the Bond Hearing

You can expect the Immigration Bond Hearing to proceed as follows:

    1. You will be taken to the hearing by Immigration officials and appear in court in person
    2. You will be wearing federally issued clothing, and generally, you will not be shackled or handcuffed in the courtroom. Here is where you will see your immigration attorney.
    3. The Immigration Judge will look over the details of your case and determine whether or not you will be granted bond. You have the burden of proving that you are not a danger to the community, and you are not a flight risk.
    4. The Court will look at things like criminal history, family ties in the U.S. and their immigration status, a stable U.S. address, employment history, and other factors.
    5. Bond is either set or denied. The minimum bond is $1,500 and can run up as far as $20,000 if the immigration judge believes you may be a flight risk.

While they will likely be unable to testify, having your family at the hearing goes a long way in showing the court that you are strongly rooted in the United States. If you have any American-born children, you may present their birth certificates to the court to further your case.

Your Immigration Attorney

Having an experienced immigration attorney goes a long way in securing bond at your hearing. Having an attorney not only provides you with someone in your corner, but they can also assist you with issues like:

  • Understanding the law
  • Translating
  • Safety planning for any children
  • Requesting expedited action from the court
  • Being present in discussions with ICE
  • Arguing on your behalf for a reduced bond

Though all criminal matters should be handled by an experienced attorney, immigration issues should never be left unrepresented. Deportation means separation from your family, loss of income, and loss of the life and environment you’ve become accustomed to.

Don’t go at it alone. Having someone in your corner whose only job it is to protect you gives you the peace of mind you need to get through this difficult and scary time. Sanchez-Roig Law is here to fight for you. Contact us at (305) 373-5385 so that we can begin evaluating your case and getting your life back to normal.