What are Removal Proceedings and Bond Hearings in Immigration?

In general, when a person is detained by immigration, they are placed in an ICE Detention Facility. While in detention, a person will be placed in removal proceedings, but may also request to have a bond hearing. Both will occur in detention, but are separate proceedings.

Removal Proceedings

When a person is detained by immigration, they will likely be placed in removal proceedings. Removal proceedings is where the government is trying to deport you from the United States. During this type of proceeding, a person can claim asylum, cancellation of removal, withholding of removal, or request to adjust status to try to stay in the United States. In the alternative, a person could request a voluntary departure to be allowed to leave as long as they are willing to leave by a certain date and pay for their own way back home if they have valid travel documents.

Bond Hearings

Bond hearings occur when a person who has been detained, has requested to be released by the immigration court from detention. If an immigration judge grants bond, it will be at a minimum of $1,500.00. However, the maximum amount is unlimited. In general, for a person to be allowed out on bond, they must show four things to the court.

  • Not a danger to the community
  • Not a flight risk
  • Not likely to become a public charge
  • Has relief from removal

Danger to the Community

A person must show that they are not a danger to the community. This can be shown with letters written by friends or family or documentation of lack of a criminal history through a background check. If a person does have a criminal history such as a DUI, Simple Assault, Theft, or Domestic Violence, it could potentially be an issue that the court is concerned about and may affect the ability to get a bond. If an individual has certain criminal convictions other than those listed above, they may be ineligible for a bond based on that conviction alone.

Flight Risk

Flight risk simply refers to whether or not a person is likely to show up for immigration court at the time and place they are given. Usually, a person who has not missed immigration court in the past or has not missed other court dates in non immigration courts, will likely not be a flight risk. However, if a person has no form of relief, or has missed immigration court or ICE check-ins prior to their bond hearing, it may also affect the ability of a person to get a bond.

Public Charge

Public charge refers to the likelihood that a person will become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence. This means that they may rely on the government for assistance such as food stamps or other benefits provided by the government. To show a person is not likely to become a public charge, they will need a person who is willing to be a financial sponsor who makes at least a certain amount of money based on their adjusted gross income. The exact amount of income needed will depend on how many people are dependents on the financial sponsor’s dependents.

Relief from Removal

This refers to whether or not a person has anything they can apply for and whether or not they have qualifying family members for waivers for people who may be inadmissible. In general, people can apply for asylum, cancellation of removal, adjustment of status, or termination of their proceedings depending on if they have relief outside of the immigration court.

What should a person do if they have friends or family who have been detained?

You should immediately contact an immigration attorney for a consultation regarding the person who has been detained. It is important to have a persons case evaluated by an immigration attorney so that way you and your loved ones can have all the facts regarding whether or not a person is eligible for bond and whether or not they have an immigration relief. Even if a person is not eligible for bond, they may be eligible for an immigration relief, and could potentially be allowed to stay in the United States.

Please contact our office at 601-353-0054 or schedule an appointment online with one of our immigration attorneys who have experience in both removal and bond hearings if you have loved ones who have been detained by immigration.

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