If you are not from the U.S., you probably find the country’s immigration laws to be confusing. You even may believe U.S. immigration law takes a hard-line approach to noncitizens. After all, according to Physicians for Human Rights, immigration officials often confine noncitizens to detention centers that have abysmal conditions.
Whether you have a straightforward path to gaining legal permanent residency or few immigration-related options, you may wonder if you are subject to mandatory attention. That is, you may worry about spending time in a detention center without being able to post a bond and go free.
What is mandatory detention?
You may come into contact with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a couple of ways. First, ICE officers may arrest you for an immigration violation. Alternatively, local law enforcement may transfer you to ICE after detaining you for another reason.
Mandatory detention means you must remain in confinement while ICE attempts to deport you. This happens when you do not qualify for a bond, which is money you pay in exchange for appearing at future hearings in immigration court.
Are you eligible for a bond?
All detained individuals may request a bond hearing before an administrative law judge. At this hearing, the judge determines your eligibility and sets your bond amount. If any of the following applies to you, though, you are probably not eligible for a bond and must remain in immigration detention:
- You have committed certain crimes involving moral turpitude
- You have committed a drug-related offense
- You have committed a prostitution-related offense
- You have engaged in terroristic activities
- You have participated in human trafficking or money laundering
- You have an extensive criminal history
Ultimately, because your eligibility for a bond probably depends on a careful analysis of both the facts and the law, it is advisable to explore all your legal options soon after your arrest.