Under the current laws, both the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security have authority over the detention and release of aliens. Under sections 103 (a) and (g) of the Immigration Nationality Act (ACT), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1103 (a) and (g); 8 C.F.R. §§ 236.1, 1236.1, the Secretary of Homeland Security is in charge of the enforcement and administration of immigration laws, whereas the Attorney General has authority over the questioning of immigration laws.
The majority of decisions regarding the detention of aliens are made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); however, certain DHS custody determinations are subject to a redetermination by an immigration judge and the appellate review that follows by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Under Section 236 of the Act, it provides information over the authority over the arrest, the detention, and also the release of aliens. It states that once a warrant has been issued, then the alien may be arrested and detained until a decision is made whether or not the alien will be removed from the United States.
However, there is an exception for criminal and terrorist aliens whose detention is mandatory under section 236 (c). Under Section 236 (a) of the Act, it states that pending a decision on whether an alien that has been arrested and detained, will be deported from the U.S., the alien may 1) continue to be held in custody (detained), or 2) be released on bond for at least $1,500 and containing conditions that are prescribed by the Attorney General, or as a condition of the alien's parole.
Essentially, the decisions regarding the detention and release of aliens are made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). When the DHS issues a Notice to Appear (NTA), or before the removal proceedings are complete, the alien can be arrested and taken into custody. There are specific regulations set in place that outline the detention process for specific types of aliens such as juveniles and criminal aliens, as well as the standard detention procedures that are followed by DHS officers.
In most cases, immigration judges have the authority to review custody and bond determinations initially made by the DHS. Upon review, the immigration judge may decide to keep the alien in custody, or the judge may set bond for the alien, or the judge may order the alien's release. This important review process is referred to as bond proceedings. The bond proceedings are "separate and apart" from the alien's removal proceedings. In reality, most immigration judges make a bond decision orally.
Bond proceedings are rather informal as compared to removal and other immigration court proceedings. In order for a bond proceeding to take place, all that is required is that the alien be in actual physical custody of the DHS. After the alien has undergone their initial bond hearing, the immigration judge may elect to conduct subsequent hearings regarding the alien's custody status. In such cases the judge will want to review the alien's circumstances, and he or she will want to see that the alien's circumstances have changed since the earlier determination hearing.
If you or someone you love is the subject of a removal proceeding, it's important to understand that removal proceedings can take up to several years. The first step in the removal process is detaining an individual, and if you are being held in custody, you will be taken to an ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) facility. From there, your case will be handled in a U.S. immigration court. You may qualify for an immigration bond, in which case if you are released on bond, it would allow you to be released from custody until your case has been officially determined.
With an immigration bond, you would pay money as a guarantee that you will appear at all of your future court proceedings. If you fail to appear or if you run from the law, then that money would be forfeited. The bond can be posted by you, a spouse, a family member, or a bondsman. The amount of bond that will be set is determined by the court.
As mentioned earlier, the minimum amount you would have to pay is $1,500; however, you could be required to pay more depending upon the nature and circumstances of your particular case. If you are facing deportation, having a Houston deportation defense lawyer is extremely important and can affect the entire outcome of your case. I have extensive experience representing clients at their bond proceedings and I would be more than happy to try and get your bond reduced, as well as fight your deportation. My goal as a dedicated Houston immigration attorney is to reduce your bond as much as possible and to ultimately keep you here in the United States where you belong.