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We pay immigration bonds for family, dignity, and freedom.

Bond is one of the most important factors that determines if an immigrant arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be deported or granted relief.

Our Mission

To increase access to due process within the immigration justice system by providing bail funds and additional legal support to immigrants detained by Immigrations Customs Enforcement.

Our Goal

To break down barriers to fair immigration court proceedings for vulnerable populations who otherwise would not be able to post bail fees and access legal support due to low socio-economic status.

Our Vision

To challenge a system that results in unjust outcomes for individuals based solely on economic status. We work to affirm and protect the contributions of under-documented and immigrant people to our lives and communities.

IMMIGRANTS IN IOWA

About 160,000 Iowa residents–or 5% of the state population–are immigrants, hailing from every corner of the world. While over 60,000 Iowa immigrants are naturalized citizens, there are 40,000 undocumented immigrants in Iowa. People in this latter group bear the greatest risk of deportation. And their stories are as diverse as their countries of origin: some enter with visas and stay past the expiration date, some enter the United States with no lawful immigration status, and some arrive as children with no knowledge of their status. Many undocumented immigrants are part of mixed-status families, living in households that include immigrants with visas, legal permanent residents, naturalized citizens and U.S.-born citizens. Currently, almost 60,000 Iowans live with an undocumented family member, and nearly 40% of undocumented immigrants in Iowa live with children under 18 who have U.S. citizenship. As they live their lives here, undocumented immigrants enrich Iowa communities. They join local faith communities, raise their children, and contribute to the state economy. Undocumented immigrants in Iowa paid an estimated 37 million dollars in state and local taxes in 2014.

Immigration PROCEEDINGS

Federal laws dictate who can enter the U.S. legally, who can apply for status, and who can be deported. An immigration case starts when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests an individual and charges them with being deportable. When this happens, the person charged has the right to a hearing in immigration court. In court, an attorney from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for proving that the person is deportable. Being placed in deportation proceedings does not mean that someone has no lawful status in the U.S.—people of any immigration status can be charged with being deportable. Anyone in deportation proceedings has the right to contest the charges against them. Even if the person is deportable, they have the right to apply for different forms of relief from deportation. After deciding whether someone is deportable, a judge will also determine if they are entitled to any type of relief from deportation (such as asylum or a green card through a family member). To be clear: just because someone is deportable does not mean that they will be deported.

Due Process

The Constitution says that “No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . .” Everyone who is charged with being deportable has the right to a fair hearing. Just as this right doesn’t depend on race, gender, or religion, it doesn’t depend on immigration status. In immigration court, due process means that people who have a path to relief from deportation have the chance to make their case and get a fair decision. While detention should not affect the outcome of anyone’s case, the fact is that people who are released from detention on bond and who receive legal representation have a much better chance of being granted relief–which means they can stay in their communities. It’s also important to remember that detention centers often keep people in isolating and inhumane conditions, separated from family and loved ones, removed from their homes, and prohibited from going to their jobs. Many detained immigrants choose deportation rather than face these conditions, even when they may have a case for relief.

Posting Bond

Posting bond slows the deportation process down. Immigrants are allowed to return home to their families, to continue their work in our communities, and to find legal representation while their case is pending. Given the current backlog in immigration cases, individuals may have years of bonded time to prepare their case, or to help their families navigate the ramifications of an impending deportation. Being released on bond significantly increases the likelihood that a person will prevail in their immigration case and obtain lawful status. However, for those who are ultimately deported, bonded time provides a necessary transition period in which to prepare themselves and their families for life after deportation.

 

Defend Immigrants

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