Knowing how to find out legal information if a person is a resident of the U.S. (meaning born and raised here) is not that difficult. If the person is an immigrant, it can be next to impossible.
Moving to a new country with a different culture, language, customs and very different laws may be quite the experience. It might also be quite the nightmare if a new immigrant runs afoul of the law while in the U.S. Being on the wrong side of the law in one’s own country of origin is bad enough, but to be in a new country where everything is strange is just horrendous; more so if immigrants find themselves mired in a legal system that says he or she needs to put up bail money.
What this process would result in is something called an immigration bond and while it is not the easiest thing in the world to understand, it is doable with the help of a highly qualified immigration attorney such as Sally Odell of Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida.
“An immigration bond is federal and immigrants are responsible for posting them if they have been detained and arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),” explained Odell. This isn’t the same thing as being arrested by a local police officer. “About the only thing that is the same in this bond process is the fact that the bond tells the courts the person will show up for court,” said Odell. That is where the similarities end.
If the immigrant chooses to post a cash bond, it goes right to the ICE, not the court or the local jail. The second major difference is that someone seeking an immigration bond must get one only through a bail bond company licensed to handle immigration bonds. There aren’t a lot of these particular companies floating around, so if a person is in hot water and needs an immigration bond, they need to do the relevant research fast. “We recommend they call us for assistance, rather than run the risk of dealing with a sham company,” added Odell.
Knowing where to go to get an immigration bond is just the tip of the iceberg, getting one becomes even more complicated when the person needing one doesn’t speak the language and has to try to figure out which offices are open and when they are open for business. For this reason and a few others (such as longer processing times) the costs for getting an immigration bond are higher, “In fact, “explained Odell, “they may be as much as 15% to 20 % of the bail amount.”
Everyone needs to know their rights when it comes to legal processes, and this is even more important when it comes to immigrants trying to work their way through the system from the other side of the fence. “This is why we would encourage all immigrants who are facing legal difficulties, and require an immigration bond, to contact us. We are able to advise them of their rights and assist them with the process,” commented Odell of Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida.