What ICE Detainees and Their Families Face
90% of immigrants in Michigan who are detained have broken no law other than being un(der)documented. They are often held in inhumane conditions, sometimes waiting years for their day in court.
In the immigration context (where there is no right to counsel), those who cannot pay bond are five times less likely to obtain representation; and those without representation are twice as likely to be ordered deported.
In Michigan, more than 75% of the cases before the immigration court in 2019 ended in deportation.
Only 3% of detained immigrants without counsel are ultimately able to avoid deportation.
Bonds are only an option for about 30% of cases, but it is up to the immigrant to request it and up to a judge whether it is granted. Unlike in criminal cases, however, the bond must be paid in full for the immigrant to be released. In 2019, the median bond in Michigan was $7,000, with some bonds set as high as $20,000. Many immigrant families cannot come up with that amount of money, and this is where bond funds, like the Kent County I-BOND Fund, come in.
Bond funds provide an immediate harm reduction measure. They prevent the direct harms of incarceration, which include loss of child custody, loss of housing, loss of employment, traumatization, absence from school, and sometimes abuse and/or death inside jail.
In Pursuit of Justice
Bond funds afford detained immigrants the opportunity to be home with their families, to continue working or attending school while awaiting their case, and to access legal and other support.
Data collected by the National Immigration Bond Fund Network shows that 68% of people who are released on bond ultimately succeed in their case and are not deported.