A person detained by the immigration service has the right to ask for their release from detention. When the person is taken into custody, the immigration service will usually give the individual a document stating whether a release is possible, and if so, whether the individual is required to pay a bond for release. If they say the person cannot be release, the individual has the right to ask for a bond hearing before an immigration judge. If a bond amount is required, the individual has the right to ask an immigration judge to lower it. The immigrant can assert these rights even if the immigration service has not yet stated the charges of any immigration violations.
Unfortunately, the law does not say when an immigration judge must hear the individual’s immigration case. Detained immigrants can wait in detention for up to two months before they see an immigration judge about their case. That is why it is important to assert one’s right to a bond hearing as soon as the person is in detention. A bond hearing will be set within 2-3 days after the detainee asks for it. An individual can ask for it by filling out and giving to the immigration court a bond application, which is provided by the court and may be provided by a local non-profit organization upon request.
At the bond hearing, even if the person is eligible for a bond, the immigration judge may order the person to stay in detention because it has found that the person is a danger to society and/or will not show up for future court dates. Terrorists, those with certain criminal convictions, and those with a prior deportation are not eligible for a bond.