“How do I get a relative released from immigration detention on immigration bond?” This is a question we receive at Henson Pachuta & Kammerman, PLLC often. When deportation proceedings are occurring, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) will most likely detain the immigration. Most often, detained immigrants in Virginia are held in the Farmville Detention Center. To be released from ICE custody during the rest of his/her proceedings, an immigrant can obtain a bond.
Immigration Detainers in Local Jails
An immigrant usually ends up in immigration detention as a result of receiving a jail sentence at a local jail. Virginia county jails screen and figure out immigration status of each person admitted into the jail in working with ICE. After questioning and fingerprinting an immigrant, this information will be check against a nationwide database. An immigration detainer will be issued if ICE discovers that the person should be placed in removal proceedings during the screening. Once this occurs, the immigrant will be moved from the local jail to ICE custody. Even if a bond is posted for the criminal charge, the immigrant will still be taken to immigration detention. If an immigration detainer has been issued, he/she will not be released from the local jail.
The Parole Determination
Once in ICE custody, an immigration officer decides whether or not the immigrant will be kept in detention during removal proceedings. In some cases, such as illness or if the immigrant is the sole provider for a child, the immigrant will be released on parole. If not released on parole, the immigrant will be moved to an immigrant detention facility. The immigrant will remain there until their hearing at an immigration court. Farmville Detention Center is the largest facility in Virginia, and Arlington Immigration Court services all of Virginia. The ICE detainee locator can be use to find an immigrant who is being held by ICE.
Moving for Bond in Immigration Court
After the immigrant has been taken to the detention center and removal proceedings have begun, a motion for bond can be filed with the court. There are two factors that the court is most focused on: danger to the community and risk of flight. As a relative of the immigrant, you must do everything you can to show that the immigrant is neither a danger to the community or a flight risk. To display that the immigrant is not a danger to the community, addressing any previous criminal convictions or charges is important. Any steps that have been taken to rehabilitate or rectify past crimes should be shown, such as alcohol counseling or a domestic violence problem. To display that the immigrant is not a flight risk, it is crucial to show ties to the community. Evidence of the immigrant’s residence, such as a lease and proof of employment are helpful. If the immigrant has any family in the area that are permanent residents or citizens, copies of passports or birth certificates are useful to show ties. Letters of support from employers, coworkers, family, and friends that speak of the immigrant’s character are helpful pieces of evidence as well.
How to Post the Bond
There are ICE offices in Richmond and Fairfax. Once prepared to pay bond, the payment, full name, and alien registration number must be brought to the ICE office. The Fairfax office can be found at 2765 Prosperity Ave, Level C, Fairfax, VA 22031. The Richmond office can be found at 0299 Arboretum Parkway Suite 140 Richmond, VA 23236. The person who delivers payment has to show proof of identity and lawful immigration status. Bonds can be paid Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. After which the immigrant will be allowed out of detention and will be placed on a non-detained docket, usually creating a longer timeline for the case.
Once the Immigration is Released on Bond
Once bond is posted and the immigrant is released, it is extremely important that upcoming court dates are kept track of. Always update addresses with the immigration course if a move occurs, because any notice of change will be mailed to said address. Call the EOIR immigration court information line at 1-800-898-7180 if unsure of upcoming court dates.