Under the Trump administration, the government has stepped up enforcement of illegal immigration. If you or a loved one has been arrested on an immigration-related charge, three scenarios could unfold.
Denial of Bail
If you're considered a high flight risk, you could be denied bail. Fortunately for asylum-seekers, President Trump's attempt to jail and deny bail to all asylum-seekers who cross the US border illegally failed. In the legal ruling, the court considered the proposal unconstitutional.
Nonetheless, under certain circumstances, you could still be denied bail. The most common reasons for denying bail to immigrants include:
- in detention and subject to removal
- in jail for committing a crime (e.g., drug trafficking, prostitution)
- Prior deportation orders are outstanding
- Charged with domestic violence or violated a protection order
If you were lawfully admitted to the United States and have overstayed your visa, you could be subject to mandatory detention for certain prior criminal convictions. These offenses include aggravated felony or firearms offenses.
If you're not subject to mandatory detention, you could be eligible for bail bonding. The immigration judge will decide whether to grant you bail and the amount. Bail bonding is used to ensure you show up for all immigration hearings. If you skip a hearing, you or your guarantor could lose the amount of bail posted.
Are you eligible for a delivery bond? If the judge does not consider you a high flight risk, you could be granted an immigration bail bond. Some of the factors the judge will consider include:
- criminal history. If you caught the immigration authorities' attention by committing a crime, bail could be denied. The judge will be more lenient for a misdemeanor than a felony charge.
- Family ties in the country
Voluntary Departure Bond
A voluntary departure bond is the worst case scenario for most immigrants. You will be asked to voluntarily leave the country at your own expense. You'll be given a date by which you must depart the United States.
If you fail to leave the country by this date, you will forfeit the bond and not receive your money back. If you do leave the country by the departure date, the money will be refunded to you.
If you're granted bail, the minimum bill amount is $1500 for an immigration bail bond. You, a family member, or a bail bonding service could act as the guarantor for the bond.