Tag Archives: detainees

About the Bond Fund

En español

The National Immigrant Bond Fund closed at the end of January, 2011.  We 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 donated to the project; our local nonprofit partners who worked with the detainees and their families; and, our hard-working steering committee.  Staffing for 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.

The Challenge

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.

Our Response

  • 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.
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New reports confirm reason for founding of the Bond Fund

Statement from NIBF steering committee chair Bob Hildreth:

Last week the national scope of what we have witnessed in Massachusetts was exhaustively documented by Human Rights Watch, the Constitution Project and TRAC in several new reports.  When a factory was raided in neighboring New Bedford, MA two years ago, I was shocked by how quickly Immigration and Customs Enforcement put 200 workers, shackled head to toe, on chartered airliners and flew them to Texas prisons.   I have seen how transfer of immigrant detainees denies them their due process rights, and wastes our money.

In response to the New Bedford raid, I decided to do something about the situation faced by my immigrant neighbors in our nation’s detention and enforcement system.  I founded the National Immigrant Bond Fund to bail out people in similar situations so that they could have their day in court. Donations go directly to help a detained immigrant post bond.  When their case is completed, the money returns to the Bond Fund to help another person.

I later learned that the transfer of the New Bedford factory workers to Texas cost the government $200,000 plus additional costs when they flew 40 back to Massachusetts upon their release on bond.  The facts these reports uncover should wake up Americans to just how our tax dollars are being used to deny people a fair day in court. And we should do something about it.

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