During the Obama Administration, each year approximately 65,000 immigrants were detained in one of nine detention facilities in the state of California. Of this number, more than 10,000 were the parents of U.S. citizen children. The Trump Administration has begun to ramp up enforcement, detention, and deportation efforts. Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the implementation of a zero-tolerance policy at the border, which federally criminally prosecutes asylum seekers rather than allowing them to apply for asylum. So far, thousands of parents and children have been separated at the border and there is no telling if they will ever be reunited.
One way a person may win their freedom from immigration detention and be reunited with their children is by paying a bond that is set either by an Immigration Judge or by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The bonds range from as little as $1,500 to $250,000 or more. Thousands of people languish in immigration detention in California, and nationwide, simply because they are poor and cannot afford to pay their bond. Moreover, bonds are eventually returned to the obligor, or person who paid the bond, when the recipient completes their immigration proceedings. So many people in immigration detention are simply in need of a loan that may be recycled to help someone else win their freedom on bond in the future.
Freedom for Immigrants (formerly CIVIC) has been operating a bond fund for people in U.S. immigration detention since 2013. All funds raised for the bond fund will be recycled to assist someone else in the future.
When a person is released on bond, their chances of winning their immigration case increases drastically. This is because there is a huge lack of attorneys who are willing to represent people in immigration detention. As a result, 84% of people in immigration detention do not have attorneys and must represent themselves in complicated legal proceedings. When someone is released on immigration bond, their final hearing date will not be for years in the future, due to the backlog in immigration court. This affords people in deportation proceedings more time to find adequate legal representation.
Many immigrants in detention and their families, desperate to remain together, fall victim to predatory bail bonds companies, like Libre by Nexus. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requires immigration bonds to be paid in cash without the ability to use property or other resources as collateral. Libre by Nexus puts their customers in debt by charging $880 upfront, 20% of the bond amount, and an additional $420/month. Libre by Nexus also requires their customers to wear oppressive ankle-monitoring technology with no oversight. This exploitative model makes it extremely difficult for low-income families to stay financially afloat and be able to afford legal representation.
Please join us and invest in 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.