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Someone I know has been detained by ICE. What happens next?

  • The person will be taken to an ICE office for processing. ICE can either release them, set a bond, or set no bond at all.
  • They will be given a Notice to Appear, or NTA (shown below).
  • The person should make sure to find their A#, listed at the top of the NTA, so they can give this number to a family or community member.

NTA Form A number location

  • Detainees are usually given the chance to make a phone call when they are taken into custody.
  • If you get a call from someone you know who has been detained, try to get their A-number and date of birth, if you don’t already know it.
  • Remind them that they are not required to answer any questions, do not have to sign any papers, and have a right to an interpreter that they can understand.

How do I get or pay a bond?

  • A typical bond is between $3,000 – $7,000, but can be set higher.
  • If the bond is set very high, or there is no bond at all, the detainee may ask for a bond redetermination hearing. They need to tell an ICE officer that they want a hearing to reconsider their bond.
  • A person does not need an attorney to request a bond redetermination hearing, but having an attorney increases the chance of success. Try to hire an attorney, even if it’s just for the bond hearing.

Preparing for the bond hearing

  • Gather as much of the following documentation as you can, and either give it to your attorney or make three copies for the hearing. Keep all the originals for yourself!
  • Proof of family ties and obligations in the U.S.
    • Documents of family members who were born in the US or who have lawful status
    • Medical records of family members receiving care in the U.S.
    • Your children’s school records
    • Any records showing your financial support of family
  • Proof of community involvement
    • Religious institutions or organizations, schools, neighborhood groups, labor groups, unions, political and advocacy organizations
    • Gather letters of support from family, friends, coworkers, and community members who know you.
  • Proof of property in the U.S.
    • Deeds, mortgages, leases, certificates of title, bank statements, etc
  • Rehabilitation (if there is criminal history)
    • Court records showing the disposition of all your criminal charges
    • Proof of participation in community service or treatment programs (letters from probation officers, supervisors, doctors, counselors, etc)
  • Attempts to comply with the law
    • Did you enter the US lawfully?
    • Have you attempted to attain lawful status?
    • Have you paid any taxes?

At the hearing

  • If you do not have an attorney, do your best to explain why you will show up for all your court hearings and why you are not a danger to the community. Explain any hardship your family will experience if you are detained.
  • If you have family or community members with lawful status in the U.S., ask them to be at your bond hearing to speak for you.

Once the bond is set…

  • Submit the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project intake form, available on our website.
  • All fields must be filled out in order to be considered for assistance
  • If the request for assistance is approved, EICBP will work to make the payment as soon as possible.

For more information:

  • If you know the person’s A#, you can call the Immigration Court Hotline for information on their next court date. Immigration Court Hotline: 1-800-898-7180
  • You can call the detention center about visiting hours. You can visit in person or go online to add money to a detainee’s account.
  • Additional information about the Immigration Bond Process, a list of immigration laywers, and the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project application form can be found at

To learn more or get in touch