Immigration Holds, Bonds, and Detention

Immigration Holds or Immigration Detainers

An immigration hold (or detainer) is a request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to local law enforcement agencies.  In this request, DHS asks local law enforcement to inform DHS of the pending release of any non-citizens in the local agency’s custody so that DHS can arrange to take custody of the immigrant for prosecution based on an immigration violation.  The agency may hold the immigrant for up to 48 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, after they would normally have been released in order to give DHS time to pick up the immigrant.

If an individual is being detained on an immigration hold, there are a limited number of immediately available options. However, an attorney can ensure that the individual is not held for more than 48 hours. More importantly, the immigrant, or a friend or family member, can contact an attorney for advice and to begin preparation for the upcoming bond hearing process.


If a non-citizen respondent is taken into custody for their immigration matters (i.e., the respondent is arrested and taken to an Immigration Detention Facility), he or she may be released on bond.  This means the immigrant and/or their family, must pay the court a set amount of money in order to be released until his or her upcoming court dates.

After the bond amount is initially set by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the immigrant has one opportunity to ask the immigration judge to review the bond amount if they believe that the amount set is unreasonable. This process is called a bond redetermination hearing.  At the bond redetermination hearing, the non-U.S. citizen must show that he is not a danger to the community, that he is not a flight risk, and that he will attend all of his future hearings.   At these bond redetermination hearings, the immigration judge may raise, lower, or leave the pre-existing bond amount intact.  A minimum bond is $1,500 and there is no maximum bond amount.

If you go to all your immigration hearings or interviews, whoever paid your bond will get their money back when your case is over.  If you lose your case, you must timely depart the United States or you will not get the bond money back.

Stern and Curray provides representation for clients in bond hearings. If a potential client is in immigration detention and believes they might be able to pay a bond, wants to know if they are eligible for a bond, or wants to know if we can get the original bond amount modified, we can help.