Bail bonds paid by immigrants facing deportation add up to a lot of money. According to data from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the figure over the last six years adds up to $977 million in bail bonds paid.
A Minnesota deportation defense lawyer deals with the urgency of these cases every day. The potential impact on someone’s life of being forced to leave the U.S. means the stakes are high – not only for the person, but for the person’s family.
In recent years, there has at least been an increase in the granting of requests for release on bond while deportation proceedings are pending. The Houston Chronicle reports that over 209,000 people have been able to obtain release on bond since 2006.
Federal authorities have a very practical financial incentive for granting bail requests. Granting release from incarceration while a deportation case proceeds saves the government substantial sums, especially in cases likely to become protracted.
To be sure, some people who are released on bond fail to appear when legal proceedings resume. Others voluntarily leave the U.S.
But the burden of paying hefty bail money should not be ignored. Advocates for immigrants argue that federal authorities often put the bail amount excessively high. This can make it very difficult for many immigrants to pay the bond.
Laura Lichter, the president-elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said that judges often fail to consider whether someone can actually pay a given bond amount. Those sums can take up a large percentage of a family’s income.
Source: “Huge rise seen in ICE cases released on bail,” Regina Garcia Cano, Houston Chronicle, 3-24-12