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Detained Immigrants Seeking Release on Bond Have Widely Different Outcomes – Overall Bond Grant Rates Have Dropped

July 19, 2023 (1 min read)

TRAC, July 19, 2023

"The odds that Immigration Judges granted bond motions for detained immigrants varied this year so far from a low of just three percent at the Northwest Detention Center in the state of Washington to 45 percent at the Krome North Special Processing Center in Florida. This report, based on the latest case-by-case Immigration Court records, summarizes outcomes for over 19,000 bond hearings covering the first nine months of FY 2023 (through June).

Nationality also shaped bond outcomes. Immigrants from the Dominican Republic were granted bond just 16 percent of the time, while those from Turkey were successful 50 percent of the time. Immigrants were represented by an attorney in roughly six out of ten (59%) hearings. Bond grant rates without an attorney were just 14 percent, but increased three-fold to 42 percent with an attorney.

Bond was denied in the majority of cases as bond was granted just 31 percent of the time. This grant rate represents a significant decline from earlier administrations. The study found that the bond grant rates had reached a high of 56 percent during the latter years of the Obama administration. During the Trump administration, bond grant rates began falling from this peak, although by the end of the Trump administration in FY 2020, 46 percent of bond motions were still being granted. The current bond grant rate of 31 percent, therefore, represents a significant drop from previous years.

The total number of bond motions currently being filed have also sharply dropped. Indeed, Immigration Court cases with bond motions during the last three years have fallen below levels that had prevailed for over two decades. ICE overall detention levels have also varied dramatically over this same time period. The report examines this broader context and concludes with questions that cannot now be adequately addressed in large part because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fails to publish or release needed information."