Mandatory immigration detention and possibilities for bond
The U.S. immigration laws have become much stricter in the last ten years, and the laws concerning detention and bond are no exception. U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) has the right to detain any individual who is placed in removal proceedings. The local Deportation and Removal Office makes the initial custody determination. Sometimes the individual can request to be released on bond. Whether an individual is eligible for bond depends on why ICE is arresting the individual.
If ICE is detaining an individual because of an immigration violation, and not because of certain criminal convictions or for security-related reasons, that person may be released by ICE on bond or on recognizance. The factors ICE considers in making its determination are: local family ties; prior arrests and convictions; prior appearances at hearings; membership in community organizations; manner of entry into the U.S.; length of time in the U.S.; and financial ability to post bond.
Only certain individuals can request an Immigration Judge to review an ICE bond decision. Individuals who are considered “arriving aliens” and those whom the government is trying to remove based on security reasons or for certain criminal convictions are barred from requesting review of their custody and bond determinations. All other individuals may request that an Immigration Judge review ICE’s decision.
“Arriving aliens” and those detained for security reasons or for certain criminal convictions are subject to mandatory detention. These individuals do not receive a bond hearing. An Immigration Judge has no authority to grant them bond, no matter what the circumstances.
Individuals who were released from criminal custody after October 8, 1998, whom ICE then take into custody, are likely subject to mandatory detention. ‘Criminal custody’ can mean release after an arrest or release from a prison sentence. If an individual is released from police custody and ICE wants to remove that individual because of convictions of certain crimes of moral turpitude, certain drug crimes, or certain firearm offenses, that person is not eligible for bond and will be detained for the duration of his or her proceedings.