Is The Bail Process Different For Immigrants?

Is The Bail Process Different For Immigrants?

The detention of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has become an issue of national importance. The number of foreign nationals detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increased dramatically under the current administration, so it’s more important than ever to understand your rights if you are arrested and detained by ICE.   

While the bail process for ICE detainees bears some similarities to the standard bail process, there are critical differences of which you should be aware if you or a loved one are detained under an ICE sweep or warrant.

ICE has a great deal of discretionary power regarding the condition of your release. They can, for example, release you on your own recognizance (without the need to post bond), though this is not common. Most detainees must appear before an immigration judge in order for bail to be set. This judicial system is separate from the federal, state, or local courts and deals specifically with foreign nationals detained in the U.S.

There are 3 main types of bail that a U.S. immigration judge can set for a detainee:

Delivery Bond

If you are an undocumented immigrant arrested and detained in the U.S., you may be eligible to be released on a delivery bond. To do so, you must receive a copy of the arrest warrant as well as a notice of custody conditions from an immigration court. Like typical bail, the aim of the delivery bond is to ensure that you make all scheduled appearances required by the court. If you are freed on a delivery bond, you may use your release time to be with family and to consult with an immigration attorney about you case.

Voluntary Departure Bond

In some cases, the court will allow you to post what is called a voluntary departure bond. This means that you agree to leave the U.S. on your own (and at your own expense) by a specified date set by the immigration court. If you fail to leave the country by this date, any money or property used to secure the bond is forfeited, and you may be subject to further charges, arrest, and detention. If you do meet the terms of the court and depart the country by the specified date, the bond amount will be refunded to you.

Order of Supervision Bond

There are cases in which a detainee has received a deportation order but requires more time to obtain proper passports and other documents for themselves or family members before returning to their country of origin. Typically these bonds are reserved for detainees who have close ties, such as a child or other family, living in the U.S. If you are granted an order of supervision bond, you must contact an official at Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) at regular intervals as stipulated by the court.

The amount of immigration bonds can vary widely—from about $1,500 to over $100,000—depending on the detainee’s flight risk and previous record. Those with a history of prior deportations or criminal arrests within the U.S. can expect higher bail amounts.

Obtaining bail following an ICE arrest can be obtained either by posting the full bail amount as a cash bond—which will be held by the immigration court until all court obligations are met—or by posting a surety bond. Family and friends of an ICE detainee can work with a licensed bond agent and provide between 15% and 20% of the full bail amount. The bond agency would then provide the remainder to secure the detainee’s release pending trial. The portion of the bond you or a family member provides is not refundable and goes toward covering the bond agency’s expenses.   

If you or a loved one has been arrested or detained by ICE, we encourage you to seek the counsel of an immigration attorney as soon as possible. Once a bond amount has been set, Bond James Bond can work with you to ensure that you meet the requirements of the court needed to secure your release.


Bond, James Bond, Inc. can handle any size or type of Georgia bail bonds in Barrow County, Bartow County, Cherokee County, Clarke County, Cobb County, Floyd County, Gordon County, Gwinnett County, Paulding County and Polk County. We are always open - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays. We have 11 locations which are conveniently located to serve you better. Visit us at, or call Bond, James Bond, Inc. at (770) 382-9111.