Unfortunately, for many immigrants who are convicted of a crime, prison, jail, or probation is just the beginning. Although criminal defense attorneys are required to provide non-citizens who have been charged/convicted of a crime with the potential immigration issues involved with accepting certain plea deals.
Once released from detention, many immigrants are picked right back up and placed into detention without notice -- only to have their rights taken from them. Only for certain crimes can a person be denied bond. The process is commenced by requesting a bond by ICE. If ICE agreed to bond, then the detainee will post the bond amount and could be released from immigration detention. In some cases, the person released will have to wear an ankle bracelet so they can be tracked. In addition, they will have to check with ICE periodically – still it is better than being denied bond.
Obtaining a bond is not always easy. In fact In 2011, the government detained a record-breaking 429,000 immigrants at a price tag of $2 billion, even though most immigrants pose no threat to public safety and do not need to be locked up to make sure they show up for court. In fact, in a recent article by the ACLU, it provided the following situation illustrating the government’s lack of compassion:
“One example is Byron Merida. Byron has lived in the United States for nearly three decades and started several successful small businesses. All of his immediate family members are U.S. citizens or green card holders. Nonetheless, the government detained Byron without a bond hearing after it put him in deportation proceedings following his conviction for a non-violent crime. The government kept Byron behind bars while his immigration case wound through the courts, including his successful appeal to the Ninth Circuit. When Byron finally got a bond hearing as a result of our case, the immigration judge ordered him released on a $2,500 bond. In total, the government needlessly detained Byron for three years and four months—at a cost of nearly $200,000 to taxpayers.”
Keep in mind, that even if a detainee is denied bond, ICE does not hold the final say on the issues. A detained individual or his/her representative can file and appeal the initial denial of bond by ICE to an immigration judge, who will then schedule a formal immigration bond hearing to decide whether bond should be granted or denied. If the crime committed is a serious crime, then bond may very well be denied; but, if the crime is not violent or serious in nature and the detainee has not proven to be a habitual criminal, usually a reasonable bond amount will be set.
In assessing whether a bond will be issued, the judge will consider various issues:
· Is there a risk of flight or any kind of danger by releasing the individual from detention.
· Has the detainee been charged or convicted of any serious crimes.
· What is the detainee’s reputation and tie to the community and family in the United States, as well as the financial situation of the alien and his/her family, along with several other factors.
S. MATTHEW GOLDING, ESQ, EA
S. Matthew Golding is one of only a few attorneys licensed in both New York & California, and has accumulated 15 years of legal experience, as well as experience as an Enrolled Agent (the highest credential awarded by the IRS). S. Matthew Golding’s international law practice emphasizes the representation of clients worldwide in matters involving Immigration and Tax law. Matthew’s clients include U.S. and foreign citizens living both abroad in countries such as Iraq, Japan, Afghanistan, South Africa, Pakistan, and Korea. Matthew is currently enrolled in one of the nation’s Top Master of Law Programs at the University of Denver in a distance program designed for experienced professionals. He worked his way through school, graduating University of Denver (1996) and Whittier Law School (1999) and earning Dean’s List distinction at both institutions.
Member, State Bar of California, 1999-Present (Inactive 2004-2005 while launching NY practice)
Member, State Bar of New York, 2004-Present
Member, AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association)
Admitted, United States Tax Court
Enrolled Agent, Federally Licensed Tax Practitioner (Highest credential awarded by the IRS)
Real Estate Broker, California Department of Real Estate
Matthew represents illegal aliens, green card holders (Legal Permanent Resident Status) and naturalized citizens in all phases of criminal and immigration matters, with an emphasis on removal and deportation defense. His website http://www.DeportationDefenseLaw.com is dedicated exclusively to Deportation and Removal Law.