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Removal threatens to take away everything a person has built over his or her lifetime in the United States, regardless of the number of years they may have lived in the United States. Anyone apprehended and detained by immigration officers is put into an immigration detention center such as York County Prison, and will remain there until they see an Immigration Judge. A detained person, however, may be able to obtain an immigration bond that would allow him or her to remain free pending the removal proceedings.
If you believe you will be detained or have a loved one who is detained in York County Prison or another immigration detention facility and wish to obtain a bond, call us immediately. We can assist people who have either been refused bond or who have had a bond set too high. A dedicated Chester County and Delaware County immigration bond lawyer can assist you in getting a bond hearing to change that. At the Skinner Law Firm, we can assist in securing a more affordable bond.
Call today at (610) 436-1410 to schedule a consultation. We serve clients throughout Philadelphia and the suburban areas including Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Lancaster and York counties. We also represent clients throughout the tristate area before the Immigration Courts in Philadelphia, York and beyond.
A bond is a type of security, paid to ensure a person’s presence in court at a future date. It is very similar to bail in the criminal justice system. A person pays a sum of money that is held as collateral, agrees to comply with certain rules and conditions, and promises to appear for all future court appearances. Bond limits are set at a minimum of $1,500. (INA 236(a)). If after posting bond, the person fails to appear for court or otherwise fails to meet the terms and conditions of the bond, the bond may be revoked and the money is forfeited to the government.
In certain scenarios, a detained person may not be eligible for bond. A person deemed removable at a point of entry, or a person detained for terrorism-related activity is not eligible for a bond. In addition, a person detained due to an aggravated felony or drug convictions will almost never be able to obtain a bond. In these scenarios, a person will be detained until a final resolution of their immigration case.
Immigration bond pertains to people who have been placed in immigration detention. People who are subject to removal proceedings may be detained in a designated facility such as the York County Prison while their matter is pending. This can take months or longer.
Detained individuals face the prospect of losing their jobs and their homes. This can make preparing a defense to removal more difficult since a detained person cannot participate in locating key documents or other materials needed in preparation of their case. This makes the immigration bond all the more important since it would allow a person to better assist in the preparation of their defense.
If apprehended and detained, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has the discretion to grant bond. The bond is typically set at an amount that will assure that the person appears for court and to deter the person from breaking any conditions required for their release. The minimum bond is $1,500.
If DHS declines to grant a bond or grants a bond that is unreasonably high, a detained person may request a bond hearing before an Immigration Judge. A detained person can use a variety of evidence to help secure bond, including letters from friends, family and community members, evidence of good moral character, financial documents and any other form of character reference. At that hearing the Immigration Judge will also weigh a variety of factors, including the following:
A detained person may use a bondsman to post bond. In such circumstances, a person will typically pay a portion or small percent of the bond to the bail bondsman (who is licensed by the federal government.) In exchange, the bail bondsman will then post the full amount of the bond with the Immigration Court. High bond amounts can be a significant problem because the bail bondsman may require some sort of collateral for the bond, including real property. If any circumstances cause the bonded person to miss a hearing, the person paying the collateral (often a loved one) could lose his or her house.
If DHS sets an unreasonably high bond or refuses bond altogether, an immigration attorney can request a bond hearing before an Immigration Judge. The bond amount or denial of bond set by an Immigration Judge is only reviewable in limited circumstances. Therefore, it is important to secure a reasonable bond at the first hearing with the aid of an immigration attorney.
If you are seeking assistance to secure an immigration bond or a more affordable bond for someone in York County Prison or another immigration detention facility in Pennsylvania, a dedicated Chester County, and Delaware County immigration bond lawyer can assist. Call Skinner Law Firm today to schedule a consultation. We will work aggressively to secure a bond at an affordable amount so that you or your loved one can fight removal proceedings outside of detention.