If you’ve been asked to help arrange an immigration bond for someone who is being held at an ICE detention facility, it’s natural to have lots of questions about how the process works.
Although immigration bonds share some similarities with state and federal bail bonds, they also have some differences. For example, whereas state and federal bail bonds are posted for defendants who are accused of breaking the law, immigration bonds are used when someone has been charged with being in the United States without proper documentation.
Notably, they’re used when someone who is already in the U.S. is arrested and detained by ICE. (If an undocumented person is caught trying to cross the border illegally, they’ll be transferred to a federal jail. Federal jail inmates are held in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service, and in this case, you’d need to talk to a company that specializes in federal bail bonds. Immigration bonds can only be posted for individuals who are being held by ICE.)
The requirements for obtaining an ICE bond are outlined below.
Fees and Collateral
The fee to purchase immigration bail bonds will be 15% of the immigrant’s bail amount. For example, if bail has been set at $25,000, the cost to purchase the bond will be $3,750. Similar to state and federal bail bonds, the fee you pay for immigration bonds is nonrefundable regardless as to what happens with the immigrant’s case.
As far as collateral, you should know that immigration bonds always require full collateral. Bail collateral can be anything that’s of value that’s posted with the bondsman until the immigrant’s case is over. The most common types of collateral are real property (ie: when someone puts up their house or condo), cash and land. Other types of collateral may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The bondsman will hold your collateral until the immigrant finishes their process with ICE. When the case is over, ICE will need to provide the bondsman with an order to cancel the case (form I-391). Once that form is received, the collateral will be released. In most cases, liens against real property will be removed within 10 business days.
Can I Put Up Collateral Instead of Paying a Fee?
This is a very common question, but unfortunately, collateral cannot be posted in lieu of paying the bondsman’s fee. (In some federal criminal cases, cosigners are permitted to put up a house directly with the court, but immigration bonds work a bit differently.) On the other hand, if you’re considering posting cash collateral (ie: the immigrant’s bond has been set at $25,000 and you have $25,000 in cash), you can post the full cash amount directly with ICE.
As long as the immigrant does everything needed to finish their case, at the end of the case, that money would be refunded to whoever posted it, less administrative fees.
For more information on how immigration bail bonds work, how long the paperwork process takes, or how long it will take to get someone out of an ICE detention center, call Bail Bond Professionals today to learn more.