Practitioners' Guide to Obtaining Release From Immigration Detention

Last Updated

May 24, 2018

This guide provides strategies for practitioners seeking a client’s release from immigration detention. It focuses on the nuts and bolts of preparing for and representing a client during immigration court bond hearings. It also provides an overview of the immigration detention system, discusses the legal authority for different types of immigration detention, and covers the process for appealing a bond decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Accompanying this guide are sample materials provided by practitioners that may be of use in preparing bond cases.

Sample Materials

Acknowledgements & Disclaimer: The below sample documents were generously provided to the authors by advocates in the field. Some may be jurisdiction-specific or reflect practices that are no longer current. They are not a substitute for independent research and investigation into local practices. CLINIC does not vouch for the accuracy or substance of any of these documents; they are intended rather for illustration.

A. Documents Related to Case Assessment and Intake

  • Bond Informational Worksheet (RMIAN)
  • Pro Bono Retainer Agreement — English (CAIR Coalition)
  • Pro Bono Retainer Agreement — Spanish (CAIR Coalition)
  • Bond Case Placement Checklist (CAIR Coalition)

B. Documents Related to Gathering Evidence for the Bond Hearing

  • Template Letters in Support of Bond with Instructions for Letter Writers (Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale)
  • Template Letter in Support of Bond (CAIR Coalition)
  • Instructions for Writing Letters in Support of Bond (Rachel Naggar)
  • List of Evidence Needed for Bond Redetermination Cases — English (Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale)
  • List of Evidence Needed for Bond Redetermination Cases — Spanish (Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale)
  • Sample Cover Letter to Jail Requesting Client’s Medical Records (Rachel Naggar)

C. Preparing for the Bond Hearing  

  • Information for Respondent About Testifying in Immigration Court, with Sample Direct and Potential Cross Questions (Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale)
  • Information for Witness About Testifying in Immigration Court, with Sample Direct and Potential Cross Questions
  • Bond Hearing Checklist  (RMIAN)
  • Short List of Common Objections (National Institute for Trial Advocacy)

D. Sample Immigration Court Filings — Bond Hearing    

  • Sample Motion for a Bond Redetermination Hearing (RMIAN)
  • Sample Brief and Evidence in Support of Custody Redetermination (RMIAN)
  • Sample Request to Set Bond Hearing (Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale)
  • Sample Motion for Bond and Custody  Determination (CAIR Coalition)
  • Sample Motion  Seeking Release on Conditional Parole or Bond (CAIR Coalition)
  • Sample Motion for Custody and Bond Redetermination (Himedes Chicas)
  • Sample Motion Seeking Release on Bond or Own Recognizance (CAIR Coalition)
  • Sample Motion Requesting a Matter of Joseph Hearing (RMIAN)
  • Sample Motion for Joseph  Hearing and Custody Redetermination (CAIR Coalition)
  • Sample Index of Documentation Submitted in Support of Custody Determination (RMIAN)
  • Sample Declaration of Respondent in Support of Bond (CAIR Coalition)
  • Affidavit of [Respondent’s Girlfriend] in Support of Bond (Rachel Naggar)

E. Sample Filings Regarding Successive Requests for a Bond Redetermination (Changed Circumstances)

  • Sample Motion for Bond Redetermination Based on Changed Circumstances (Michelle Mendez)
  • SampleRenewed Motion for a Bond Redetermination Hearing (RMIAN)
  • Sample DHS Opposition to Renewed Bond Redetermination Request (RMIAN)
  • Sample Immigration Judge Order Denying Request for Successive Bond Redetermination (RMIAN)

F. Sample Immigration Court Filings — Post Release       

  • Sample Motion to Reclassify Proceedings (Detained to Non-Detained Docket) (CAIR Coalition)
  • Sample Motion to Transfer Case to Non-Detained Docket (Michelle Mendez)
  • Sample Motion for Change of Venue with Form EOIR-33, Change of Address (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample Motion to Ameliorate Conditions of Release (Innovation Law Lab)

G. Sample BIA Appeal Documents      

  • Sample EOIR-27, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before the Board of Immigration Appeals (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample  Form EOIR-26, Notice of Appeal (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample Order of the IJ with Respect to Custody (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample IJ Written Bond Memo (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample BIA Briefing Schedule (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample DHS Motion for Summary Affirmance and Opposition to the Respondent’s Appeal (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample BIA Appeal Brief (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample BIA Motion to Reconsider (Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative)
  • Sample BIA Appeal Brief (Himedes Chicas)

H. Documents Related to Bond and Parole Requests with DHS  

  • Letter to ICE Advising of Representation of Detained Individual, Requesting Local Detention, and Requesting Release on Own Recognizance or Reasonable Bond (Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale)
  • Letter to ICE Seeking Client’s Release on Own Recognizance (Rachel Naggar)
  • Parole Informational Worksheet (RMIAN)
  • Parole Request Checklist (RMIAN)
  • Sample Humanitarian Parole Request for “Arriving Alien” Asylum Seeker (RMIAN)
  • Sample Request for Parole Bond Reduction for Asylum Seeker (Van Der Hout, Brigagliano, & Nightingale)
  • Sample Sponsor Letter in Support of Parole Request (RMIAN)
  • Sample Humanitarian Parole Request for Withholding-Only Respondent (Brian Hoffman/CARA Pro Bono Project)

I. Sample DHS and Immigration Court Documents

  • Sample Notice to Appear (page 1) (RMIAN)
  • Sample Form I-213 (Michelle Mendez)
  • Sample ICE Form I-286, Notice of Custody Determination (University of Minnesota Law School Detainee Rights Clinic)
  • Sample Bond Hearing Notice (RMIAN)
  • Sample Immigration Judge Bond Order (RMIAN)
  • Immigration Bond Form I-352

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