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What Are My Options When The Bond Amount Is Too High To Pay?


“My husband was picked up two days ago by immigration officers. He doesn’t like being in jail. The bond amount is too high. He was told he doesn’t have any chance to win. Should he just give up and agree to be deported?”

(Submitted by Erica H., Redlands, CA)


Frankly, this is not a decision a lawyer should make for a client. But it is also the type of decision immigrants facing deportation should not make until they talk to an attorney in detail about their case.

Many times, an immigration lawyer can help your husband figure out what options exist to fight deportation and if he can win a green card. Sure, it means your husband may have to stay in jail longer. Yet, rushing just to get out may mean throwing away a chance to become a permanent resident forever.

Let’s explore your husband’s situation in more detail. I’d like to share a few things for you and your husband to think about before he makes a final decision.

The first issue, of course, is to figure out why he was apprehended by ICE. Was your spouse detained because of a conviction from many years ago? Was he stopped while driving for a traffic violation?

Is he a lawful permanent resident? Or perhaps he entered the U.S. without permission or overstayed his visa?

What is the bond amount? At least, since they have set a bond amount, there is a chance he can get out. Usually, this means a lawyer can go to immigration court and ask a judge for a lower bond amount.

At the bond hearing, he will need to present evidence to show he is not dangerous and he is not going to flee if the judge releases him from immigration custody. He will still be required to attend all hearings. If he fails to appear, he will be ordered deported, unless he has an exceptional reason for not showing up.

Yet, even if the judge sets bond at an amount too high for your family, your spouse may still be able to win his immigration case. In my experience handling deportation defense cases, it’s harder to win cases if an immigrant has to remain in immigration detention. It is not impossible.

A victory means permanent residency.

So I go back to my earlier point. Why should he give up when he does not know his chances of getting released on bond or winning his case?

If you would like to know more about bond, here is an article that discusses avoiding immigration bond and detention panic which may answer more of your questions like:

  • What Is A Bond?
  • Who Qualifies For Bond?
  • How Much Will Bond Cost?
  • What Happens At A Bond Hearing?
  • What If The Judge Denies Bond?

By Carlos A. Batara, Filed Under Q&As: Deportation And Removal Defense.

Ready to take a serious and honest look at the strengths and weaknesses of your immigration case? Let’s get started with a personalized strategy and planning consultation . . .