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Chicago Immigration Judges Offer Valuable Bond Hearing Advice

On November 14, 2016 Immigration Judge Vinikoor and the new Chicago Immigration Judges joined the Chicago AILA chapter for our monthly meeting. Judge Rosche, Judge Cole, Judge Peyton and Judge DeAngelis were formally introduced and gave us some valuable insight regarding bond motions.

What the Judges Noted About Bond

The Judges discussed the issue of filing a motion for bond hearing prior to being ready to execute the hearing. In some instances, the Judges noted that the attorney had not even spoken to the detained individual by the time the hearing was held. The Judges pointed out that a person’s bond is generally only set once and for that reason it is important to put forward the best step. In some instances, the Judges also noted that a bond hearing is scheduled and an attorney ends up requesting a continuance to prepare for the hearing. Because of the number of detainees, this can result in a bond eligible individual spending more time in custody then necessary. The Judges also noted that sending exhibits in support of any motion as early as possible aids them in being prepared for the hearing.

What the Godoy Law Firm Has Witnessed

In practice, I have seen instances where the next available bond hearing being four to six weeks out. A great practice tip is to meet with your client via teleconference prior to filing a motion for a bond hearing. The Chicago area ICE detention facilities generally will allow an attorney to schedule a teleconference with a detainee. This will allow you to assess how close you are to being ready for the bond hearing and to identify a family member that can get you the needed information. In instances where ICE has already set bond, you can assess whether filing for a bond redetermination makes sense.

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