ICE accepts agreement to reduce bail charges for undocumented detainees

The Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and immigration judges will not be able to determine the amounts of the bonds to detained undocumented immigrants.

ICE and the Department of Justice (DOJ) agreed on alternatives to arrest for detained undocumented immigrants, as well as more accessible bonds. This due to a court settlement, which ended a six-year legal battle.

In this way, the new agreement signed on March 28, 2022 before a California judge, will benefit undocumented immigrants detained by ICE. As explained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ICE must take into account the ability of undocumented immigrants to pay bail and seek alternative conditions.

Foto: https://www.ice.gov/es/sobre-ice

“The agreement will ensure that the conditions of release, whether it be monetary bail or some non-monetary alternative, will better serve their purpose without punishing those who cannot pay,” explained attorney Doug Smith.

The legal battle was promoted by the ACLU of Southern California and Mexican immigrant Xóchitl Hernández and the case is known as Hernández v. Garland. The case began in April 2016, with the goal of getting the federal government to modify some policies and practices for immigration proceedings against non-citizens, for example, the payment of very high bonds that resulted in immigration detention solely for the fact of not be able to pay

In this way, ICE will now consider the economic situation of the detainee and his financial capacity to pay a bond. Thus, it will not set bail with amounts greater than those necessary to guarantee the appearance of the detainee in the next immigration procedures. Likewise, the detainee may be released under alternative conditions to mitigate the risk of escape.

"The settlement ends the government's shameful practice of jailing immigrants without regard to their ability to post bail," said lead attorney Michael Kaufman.

The full agreement is available at the following link: https://www.aclusocal.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/exh.dct_357-3_exhibit_a_-_settlement_agreement.pdf 

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