The National Immigrant Bond Fund is closing. We have successfully loaned all our money to help detained immigrants post bond, and have a fair day in court. We thank the hundreds of individuals who contributed to the project; our local nonprofit partners who worked with the detainees and their families; and, our hard-working steering committee. The project was supported by generous grants from the Open Society Institute, Four Freedoms Fund, and the Hildreth-Stuart Foundation.
What was our mission?
All people in America, including immigrants, deserve basic human rights and dignity. This includes the right to legal counsel, ability to communicate and visit with children and families, and humane treatment in custody.
The National Immigrant Bond Fund reaffirmed the values of dignity and due process by helping immigrants detained in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions to post bond quickly to secure a fair hearing in America’s courts.
What was our strategy?
ICE agents and local police conduct workplace raids and other enforcement actions across the country without accountability. They detain and separate hard-working immigrant parents from their children. Detainees who can not afford the bond for release are in accelerated deportation proceedings – with little opportunity to contact their families or legal counsel.
People who are detained by ICE need to post bond immediately to establish immigration court jurisdiction in the district where they were arrested, and avoid ICE’s rapid transfer of detainees outside the district. Posting bond also improves the detainee’s ability to present his/her case before a judge.
How did we respond?
- We helped immigrants who were swept up in ICE and local enforcement actions. When a person who is detained by ICE pays an immigration bond, s/he can be released while the case is pending. The Bond Fund worked with local nonprofits to provide a matching loan to help eligible immigrants post bond. The immigrant’s family or friends raised a portion of the bond money too.
- We worked to build public support for immigration reform by focusing on harsh immigration enforcement tactics, and the lack of rights afforded detainees.
- We supported local communities’ efforts to respond effectively to ICE enforcement actions.