Appeals & Bonds
Do you have a family member or friend being detained by the Department of Homeland Security or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement? We know exactly how to help you get your loved one released from detention. We will help you save time and money so pick up the phone and call us today to speak with an immigration specialist.
The Overview of Removal Proceedings, Appeals, and Bonds
Immigration law has specific rules that govern when an alien can be held in immigration custody and whether they may be eligible for release on bond. Whether and how a certain rule will apply to your case depends on many factors.
If the immigration court judge decides you must be deported from the U.S., a skilled attorney may find legal grounds for an appeal. That is why consulting an immigration attorney can benefit your case if you or a loved one is in removal proceedings or need of an immigration bond.
Arrest, Detention, and Release of the Arriving Aliens
If a foreign national is detained when entering the U.S. the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will almost always handle the removal proceeding. They have exclusive jurisdiction over arriving aliens, and immigration courts won’t interfere with their decisions.
Congress gave the Secretary of the DHS the authority to issue a warrant for the arrest of a noncitizen on charges of an immigration violation. On such a warrant, a noncitizen can be arrested and detained “pending a decision” on whether they should be removed from the USA.
Arriving aliens are typically not eligible to be released on bond while in removal proceedings.
In some cases, a foreign national is detained while in the U.S. or held after being arrested for a non-immigration-related crime. Then, the removal proceeding is usually handled by the closest Immigration Court, and the alien is placed in ICE custody (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). These aliens are most likely eligible for release on bond.
Who Can Be Released on Bond?
In general, those in immigration custody can sometimes be eligible for a release on bond, on a supervision program, or on their own recognizance if certain conditions are met.
In order to obtain the bond, it has to be determined that the foreign national doesn’t present a threat to the national security, danger to other individuals, or property and that the individual is not a flight risk.
Other factors that immigration judges may consider when determining whether an alien should be released on bond include:
- Whether they have a fixed address in the U.S.,
- Their record of appearance in court,
- Way of entry to the U.S.,
- Their criminal record
- Whether they have a history of immigrant violations.
An immigration judge may set a bond in order to make sure that to ensure that the immigrant will appear for subsequent proceedings. Immigration bond proceedings are different from removal proceedings. In other words, whether an alien should be released on bond is separate from whether they should be removed from the United States.
During the pendency of the decision, immigration authorities may continue detaining the noncitizen, and release him or her from custody on parole or supervised release with or without bond.
If the noncitizen is released with a security amount of bond, the bond amount cannot be less than $1,500.
DHS cannot issue any form of employment authorization to such noncitizen unless the noncitizen is a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) or an individual otherwise authorized to be employed regardless of the removal proceedings. Congress also authorized DHS to revoke the bond or parole at any time, rearrest and detain the noncitizen.
The Bond Hearing
The bond hearing should not be considered a part of removal proceedings, but a process of its own. The regulation provides certain immigration courts with the authority to redetermine the custody status of most noncitizens as well as the bond amount, if any, originally set by the DHS or set new conditions of the release.
If you believe you have been denied bond unlawfully, you may have grounds for appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, an immigration attorney in Texas, may be able to help.
Role of Immigration Attorneys in Bond Hearings
Immigration attorneys play a vital role in bond hearings. They represent the detained individual, advocating for their release and arguing against deportation. They meticulously scrutinize the immigration judge’s decision and search for grounds on which the judge’s decision could be appealed.
In addition to representing clients at bond hearings, immigration attorneys can also assist individuals in filing requests for bond redetermination if their initial request was denied. They have a deep understanding of the complex immigration laws and know how to navigate the system effectively.
If you believe you have been denied bond unlawfully, you may have grounds for appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, an immigration attorney in Texas, may be able to help. We have extensive experience in bond hearings and appeals, and we will work tirelessly to help you or your loved one secure a positive outcome. Contact us today for a consultation.
Frequently Ask Questions
The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest administrative agency for interpreting and applying immigration laws. It is part of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The BIA hears appeals from decisions by immigration judges and, in some cases, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials.2
It does not hear appeals of decisions made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which must be usually appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).
The Board of Immigration Appeals is located in Falls Church, Virginia, which is within the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. However, appellants do not need to appear in person.
The Board of Immigration Appeals can review most decisions of immigration judges (other than credible fear and reasonable fear determinations).
Matters the BIA can review include, without limitation:
- Removal, deportation, and exclusion orders (with some limitations on decisions involving voluntary departure);3
- Withholding of removal / deportation,
- Exclusion of aliens applying for admission to the U.S.,
- Petitions to classify the status of alien relatives for the issuance of preference immigrant visas,
- Motions to reopen and reconsider prior decisions, and
- Denial of bond or parole.
The BIA also hears appeals of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decisions concerning:
- Family-based immigrant petitions,
- Waivers of inadmissibility,4 and
- Some DHS administrative fines and penalties.
During the immigration court process, the immigration judge will render a decision. Both the government and the immigrant have the right to appeal it.
If the judge renders an unfavorable decision at the hearing, he or she will ask if the immigrant wishes to appeal the ruling. If the immigrant does not want to appeal, the government can begin the deportation process immediately (in a removal case).
If the immigrant thinks he or she would like to appeal the immigrant should tell the judge he or wishes to appeal. Or the immigrant can simply tell the judge that he or she wishes to reserve the right to appeal.
Either party may appeal the immigration judge’s decision to the BIA within 30 calendar days of the immigration judge’s decision. The Notice of Appeal (along with payment or a waiver request) must actually be RECEIVED by the BIA within this 30-day period — not just postmarked.
Because they are calendar days, and not business days, weekends and holidays count for purposes of calculating the 30-day period.
However, if the deadline falls on a weekend or a legal holiday, the due date is the next business day.
To be safe, it is best to send the Notice by overnight delivery or certified mail well in advance of the deadline.
The U.S. Department of Justice maintains a list of pro bono legal service providers.
Pro bono lawyers are those who have committed to provide at least 50 hours per year of free legal services in the immigration courts where their offices are located.
You may also be able to find a free or low-cost lawyer through your local bar association.
Immigrants also have the right to represent themselves (though this is not recommended). For further information, see the Board of Immigration Appeals Practice Manual.