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Cost of bail for immigrants surging

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

According to a report by Axios, the cost of bail bonds for immigrants has been increasing over the past few years. Immigration judges have been issuing more bail bonds, and more expensive ones at that. As recently as 2005, all bail bonds issued by judges to immigrants were less than $2,000. However, last fiscal year, just 5% of bonds were less than $2,000, and 40% were $10,000 or more.

The median immigrant bond price was $8,000. Source

The higher the bail, the more likely immigrants will remain in crowded ICE detention centers for months before they’re even considered for deportation. Rising bond prices can have long-term negative effects on migrants. Detention centers are often far from immigration lawyers.

If immigrants can’t post bond, they’re less likely to receive legal representation, which lowers the chance of successfully pleading their case and remaining in the country. Source

It is important to note that the bond money is not automatically returned to immigrants once the case is finished. DHS has an all-time high of $200 million of bond money that immigrants have had a year or more to claim, but have not. Source

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