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Do I have the right to a bond in a deportation case?

In a criminal case, every person has a right to bond. In immigration court, bond is not available to everyone. Some people are subject to mandatory detention due to a criminal conviction. In immigration court, bond is money paid to the government in return for your release from detention, as a guarantee that you will attend all your court hearings and obey the judge’s final order. If you are released on bond, it doesn’t end your immigration case. It just means you don’t have to be detained while waiting for court hearings.

If you have a bond, but can’t afford to pay it, ask the judge to reduce it. You can also ask the judge for a bond if you don’t already have one. To ask the judge for a bond, or to reduce your bond, file a Motion for Bond Hearing (which you can most likely find at a law library). At your bond hearing, you will be asked to submit certified court documents regarding your criminal history, and proof:

  • of the address where you will live if released;
  • of the immigration status of the person who lives there; and
  • that you qualify for relief.

If you have a bond, you can pay it at any point until you have a final decision on your case from the judge. This article gives an overview of rights for detained immigrants.