It has been reported by Rolling Stone Magazine that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has virtually stopped granting detained immigrants bond or parole, keeping them incarcerated throughout their cases unless they successfully appeal to an immigration judge. Nationwide, there has been a noticeable drop in bond issuances by ICE. This shift has already been attributed to Trump’s January immigration enforcement executive order, which called for ICE “to ensure the detention of aliens apprehended for violations of immigration law” and to grant parole on a “case-by-case basis.”
However, immigration attorneys say ICE has clamped down even more extremely than called for in Trump’s order. Many immigration officials are not releasing detainees at all, and punting them straight to the immigration court. This enforcement strategy has been confirmed by attorneys in 11 states in different regions of the country.
Previously, immigrant asylum-seekers could leave detention after demonstrating fear of persecution as the initial step of their case. ICE would then offer a bond or a release on recognizance to those who had been apprehended by immigration agents, and would grant parole to those who had requested refugee status at an official port of entry. The agency has instead begun blanket rejections of those types of cases. Immigration lawyers are now rushing to file bond requests for dozens of detainees in immigration court. However, immigrants who present themselves at the border are lawfully ineligible to appeal to a judge if ICE denies them parole.
Many worry that the bond and parole denials could be the beginning of even more widespread detention. Trump has asked Congress for the funds to open up 20,000 beds to expand immigrant detention facilities.
Currently, only in the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii can immigrants denied parole request bond from a judge after six months in detention. See Rodriguez et al. v. Los Angeles ICE.
Immigration bonds refer to money paid to secure a detained foreign national’s release that serves as a guarantee to the government that, once out of detention, the bonded individual will attend all immigration court hearings. When ICE detains someone, it also sets a bond amount if the person is eligible. This eligibility is based on a risk assessment. If the immigrant can afford to pay the bond, then he or she will be released upon payment. He or she can also request an immigration judge lower the amount. The immigrant must go back to court on the date of his or her immigration hearing. Continue reading