Why Would I NOT Pay Bond, for ICE Detainment Part 1: Financial

Here’s an article by our immigration lawyer Elizabeth Alvarez.

Many times if a person is being detained by ICE, their first instinct is to simply pay the bond, but that may not always the best course action. There are many financial and legal factors that go into making this choice that you need to consider carefully before making a decision.  

For instance, in addition to paying your criminal attorney to secure the bail or bond you have to consider to what degree there is a likelihood that ICE will detain you, and whether you would have to pay another bond to be released from ICE custody.  If so, you need to consider where you might be likely to end up were you be detained by ICE, and if you cannot post both bonds (and pay for your attorney), which detention location is better for you and your family 

Another important factor to take into consideration is the basis listed on the detainer paperwork since that can give you a clue about what kind of charges you will face.  Do you have an outstanding warrant for Removal? Do you have an outstanding Order of Removal? Even if these were issued in absentia, you’ll have to pay an attorney to reopen your matter, so you need to factor that into your decision.  Moreover, you need to know whether paying the bond and your local law enforcement agency will result in your being turned over to ICE for immediate removal. If so, you’d need to make sure you’d arranged for legal counsel before you pay the bond are released to ICE.  Otherwise, you could face removal before you had an opportunity to see a lawyer or do anything about it. Overall, you must consider the cost for your bond for your original offense with your local law enforcement agency, and then the cost of potentially posting a bond with ICE, and possibly the cost of a bond hearing with an Immigration Judge.  You’ll also have to consider the total coast of an attorney to file the paperwork for these things both in immigration and in state criminal court, as well as any additional fees for forms and court costs. 

Another important consideration is the unique nature of ICE bonds.  Unlike regular bonds or bail, ICE detainers require payment from a US citizen or legal permanent resident.  So if your family members do not have adequate paperwork you will not be able to post an ICE bond. ICE bonds are generally higher as well, than state jail bonds, and require a higher base rate than a regular bond or bail. 

In situations like this sometimes it some times both legally and economically better to simply remain in the custody or detention of your local law enforcement agency, but it can be hard to know.  We here at Guest & Gray are experienced in navigating through these situations and would love to help you. If you or a family member find themselves in this situation, please reach out to the immigration lawyer at Guest & Gray as soon as possible and let us help you achieve peace of mind.

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