During the COVID-19 pandemic, jails and detention centers are at high risk for illness transmission. This increased risk is due to having so many people housed together in one facility.
If your loved one is currently being held in an immigration detention center, you want to get them out so they can be safe at home. How has the bail bonds process changed during the pandemic? Continue reading to find out.
What Is the Bail Bonds Process Normally?
Under normal conditions, the person trying to post bond will do one of two things. They’ll either contact an immigration bondsman, or they’ll contact an ICE agent.
No matter which path you end up taking, the first step is to gather information on the detainee. At the minimum, you’ll need to know where the detainee is being held, their full name, and their immigrant number.
The Process With an Immigration Bondsman
If you don’t have the money to pay the bond upfront, you can work with an immigration bondsman.
You’ll need a percentage of the total bond amount. The bondsman will front the rest and contact the appropriate ICE agent for you, the exact percentage varies.
Paying in Cash
If you have the cash to pay the bond upfront, you can contact the ICE agent responsible for the detainee. You should let them know at least 24 hours in advance you plan to post bail so they can make release arrangements.
You’ll then go to the ICE office, where you’ll pay the bond and finalize any necessary paperwork. You will need to wait at the office while your loved one’s release is being completed.
How Is the Bail Bonds Process Being Affected by COVID-19?
Like everything else in the world, the bail bonds process has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are the most significant changes. These resources can help you determine how to pay bonds in these uncertain times.
Only Certain Locations Open
Only some ICE offices are now open for bond payment. You can only currently pay bonds at locations with “bond windows,” or other appropriate barriers in place.
The closure of offices not fitted with protective shielding at payment windows is to help limit exposure for staff members. If your local branch is closed, you can call the ICE main number to find out which locations are open.
Limitations at ICE Offices
There is a restriction on who may enter the ICE offices that are still open. Only one person can go into the building. Other adults who come with you will not be allowed inside.
Underage children shouldn’t come with you to pay the bond. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. If another adult is present, children will be required to remain outside the building with them.
Do You Have More Questions About the Bail Bonds Process?
The COVID-19 global pandemic has caused some changes in how the bail bonds process works. The good news is that bonds are still being accepted, and detainees will still be able to be released.
Do you have more questions about the bail bonds process? Check out our other blog posts. You’ll find a wealth of information on related topics.