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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

$2B in bonds paid by asylum-seekers for ICE detention release, report finds

McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Asylum-seekers have paid over $2 billion in bonds since 2017 to be released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities pending their immigration proceedings, according to a new report. The report by Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of Syracuse University found that since the start of Fiscal Year 2017 and through December, more than a quarter of a million bonds — 258,438 — have been paid to ICE officials for release. Life in prison for Mexican national who held men hostage in South Texas stash house The data, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, found that most of the bonds, 94%, were delivery bonds; only 5.6% of the bonds issued were voluntary departure bonds. (TRAC Graphic) According to ICE, if an obligor posts a bond as security for a noncitizen’s release and the person fails in their expected duties then the person would be required to be returned to an ICE facility under a delivery bond. Those with voluntary departure bonds would be required to leave the United States. Bonding out of an ICE facility allows an asylum-seeker to live in the United States temporarily while their U.S. immigration court proceedings play out without having to be detained under immigration custody. ICE views bonds as a way to ensure the noncitizens comply with court hearings and requirements during that time. Feds: Man held without bond after caught entering U.S. with nearly 50lbs of meth Once the requirements of a bond are met then the principle is returned to the obligors and the bond is “canceled.” According to the report, most of the $2 billion paid into immigration bonds was returned to the obligors. The number of immigration bonds issued hit record highs in August and October of 2018 at nearly 6,000 issued each month, according to the TRAC report. But the numbers dropped precipitously in the spring of 2020, which coincides with the issuing of Title 42 by then President Donald Trump, which closed border admissions to asylum-seekers to stop the spread of COVID-19. Immigration bonds sprang above 3,000 in March 2022 under the Biden administration and hit the highest levels in August 2022, with 3,662 bonds issued that month, according to the TRAC report. “These findings suggest that while the total detained population certainly contributed to the number of bonds posted, other factors, including policy decisions of the administration at the time, also influenced how many people were granted bond and ultimately posted bond,” the report found. The median bond amount also decreased during the Biden administration from the Trump administration, the report says. (TRAC Graphic) In Fiscal 2017, the median bond cost $7,500. In Fiscal 2022, it was $3,000. Since Fiscal 2017, most of the bonds — 22,500 — have been issued at the ICE processing centers in Eloy, Arizona, totaling nearly $185 million. (TRAC Graphic) The ERO South Texas Detention Facility in Pearsall, Texas, issued the second-most bonds — over 18,300, totaling nearly $90 million, and the Port Isabel facility on the South Texas border issued over 9,400 bonds totaling $60 million, the report found. In 2023, ICE announced a Cash Electronic Bonds Online (CeBONDS) system that allows obligors to register and pay bonds online using electronic payments. NewsNation this week reported that ICE was facing a $1 billion deficit and will be forced to scale back operations if it doesn’t get additional funding this fiscal year. According to a memo obtained by NewsNation, without approval of a supplemental funding request of $8 billion that is pending in Congress, removal operations, detention facilities and the Alternatives to Detention program will be affected. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

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