Freedom for Immigrants’ National Immigration Detention Bond Fund
What is a bond?
Detained immigrants, including people arrested in ICE raids and mothers separated from their children at the border, sometimes have the opportunity to be released on a cash bond — which is like bail — while fighting their immigration cases.
However, many families cannot afford the high bond amounts set by ICE or immigration judges. There is no upper limit for immigration bonds, but Freedom for Immigrants has documented immigration bonds ranging from $1,500 to $250,000 with a median of $4,250 and an average of $14,500.
Without the ability to pay a bond, longtime lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants who may be eligible for relief from deportation are forced to languish in immigration detention. Many fall victim to predatory bail bond companies. For example, Libre by Nexus forces customers to wear oppressive ankle-monitoring technology and puts their customers in debt by charging $880 upfront, 20% of the bond amount, and an additional $420/month. This pushes families into poverty, creates emotional strain for parents and children, and makes it extremely difficult for families to afford legal representation.
It's time for a humane solution that allows families to stay together and lets individuals focus their efforts on winning their immigration cases.
Help us raise $5 million to secure freedom for immigrants!
How does Freedom for Immigrants' National Detention Bond Fund work?
Freedom for Immigrants began piloting a bond fund program in 2010; in its early years, we would help families raise funds to pay the bonds of their loved ones.
In 2013, we began serving as the obligor for some of these bonds, and in June 2018 with the support of the James Irvine Foundation, we officially launched our National Bond Fund program.
We have raised a total of $932,900, which has been applied directly to paying the immigration bonds of 150 people.
Freedom for Immigrants provides each individual that it bonds out with critical legal and wrap-around services through its proven case management program to document, support, and enhance the likelihood of success for their case. Sometimes this support also includes housing with one of our sponsor volunteers.
Learn about our recent campaign to bond out people from West County Detention Facility in Richmond, California.
Who Is Eligible for Our Bond Program?
A person is eligible for our bond program if they:
are a recent asylum seeker, who has been persecuted in their home country and detained by ICE within three months of entering the country; OR
have been held in prolonged immigration detention for a minimum of 6 months; OR
have been living in the country for over 10 years with a strong community presence; AND
have been granted a bond by ICE or an immigration judge in California or Louisiana
We will prioritize the bonds of the people who meet the criteria above based on the following:
have been assigned an immigration judge with low case grant rates (when Freedom for Immigrants bonds them out, they will be assigned a new judge on the non-detained docket);
have an attorney or we reasonably believe an attorney can be secured once the person is released;
have a Freedom for Immigrants sponsor;
be connected with one of our visitation programs;
have strong community ties;
assessed to be self-sufficient with ability to cope in a non-clinical placement;
are the primary caretaker of someone else.
Be a part of the solution today.
Please join us and support Freedom for Immigrants' Bond Fund.
Your tax-deductible donation will help someone win their freedom and your gift will be recycled in perpetuity, until our work to end the immigration detention system is complete.
Learn about the Freedom100 Fund, a new impact investment opportunity designed to reunite families separated by U.S. immigration detention. It is the first model in the country to provide affordable solutions for posting bond and also return capital to investors.
For more information, please contact Christina Fialho at CFialho@freedomforimmigrants.org.