Compelling ICE to Publish Information About its Bond Procedures

Friday, June 24, 2022
Last modified: 
June 24, 2022

This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asks U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to publish on its website documents about how members of the public can pay immigration bonds and secure the release of individuals in ICE custody. Under the FOIA, federal agencies are supposed to proactively publish information that enable public citizens to deal effectively with federal agencies. ICE, however, has not published information about its procedures for accepting bond payments, bond refunds, or the different ways in which the agency can withdraw individuals’ authorization to be released on bond from immigration custody.

This lack of public information has led to confusion and frustration as members of the public encounter problems when seeking the release of a loved one from ICE detention. Accordingly, the Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (“RAICES”), and several local organizations that provide funds for the payment of ICE bonds for members of their communities filed this request to obtain information that will clarify the agencies processes for accepting bond payments and releasing individuals from ICE custody.

Under the proactive disclosure section of the FOIA, the request asks ICE to publish:

  1. Documents addressing how members of the public can post bonds, like hours of operation, forms of payments, and other information on additional requirements to obtain the release of a loved one.
  2.  Information about how to obtain a refund of paid bonds.
  3.  Policies and procedures about how ICE officers decide to reject, cancel or revoke a bond determination, as well as how individuals can challenge these determinations.

 Public access to this information will allow members of the public and community bond funds to pay the assigned bonds as quickly as possible so that the individuals in detention may be released.

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