Many people held in immigration detention are eligible for release on bond, but are not able to win release because they are not represented by counsel.

When Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the immigration enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security, first takes a person into custody, they make a determination whether or not to set a bond for that person, and if so for what amount. Detainees may request that an immigration judge review that bond determination, and may present an argument to the judge as to why the bond should be lowered. This takes place during a bond redetermination hearing, often referred to as a bond hearing. Many people held in detention are unable, because they lack access to counsel, to effectively advocates for their release on bond. Many bond-eligible people therefore languish in custody for months or years.

The library of training and resource materials below will prepare volunteer attorneys to handle a bond hearing for someone held in immigration detention. The resources include recorded webinars, practice advisories, and template bond motions and other filings.

Case Law

Matter of Patel (BIA 1976)

Board of Immigration Appeals

One of the seminal Board of Immigration Appeals cases regarding the factors an immigration judge should consider when making a bond decision for a detainee.

Case Law

Matter of Guerra, 24 I&N Dec. 37 (BIA 2006)

Board of Immigration Appeals

This case examines the factors an Immigration Judge can consider when determining whether or not an immigrant seeking bond might be a flight risk or a danger to others.


Overview of Bond Hearings

Immigration Justice Campaign

This webinar provides provides an overview of bond hearings for attorneys who are new to immigration practice. Two expert practitioners discuss how to request a bond hearing, the factors at issue during bond hearings, how and what kind of evidence to prepare and submit, and what happens during a bond hearing.


Mock Bond Hearing

Immigration Justice Campaign

Conducted at New York Law School on June 12, 2017, and sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, Committee on Immigration Representation, New York State Bar Association, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section, New York State Liberty Defense Project, American Immigration Council, and American Immigrant Representation Project

Practice Guides

Representing Clients in Bond Hearings: An Introductory Guide

Immigrant Legal Resource Center

An introductory, step-by-step guide to representing clients in bond hearings. It contains practical guidance on preparing for a bond hearing, as well as citations to relevant case law.

Contact Us

Have a question about volunteering? Need help? Contact us.

Hand holding protest sign

Guided Learning

If you are new to this area, we suggest the following training sequence to learn about representing detained immigrants in their bond hearings.

1. Introductory Bond Webinar
This webinar walks through the basics of bond hearings, including how to request a bond hearing, the factors the immigration judge will consider, and what happens during a bond hearing.

2. Bond Hearings: An Introductory Guide
Once you have watched the webinar, this guide will walk you through bond hearings in more detail: Representing Clients in Bond Hearings: An Introductory Guide. It will also be a useful resource as you prepare for your client’s bond hearing.

3. Mock Bond Hearing
Finally, watch this mock bond hearing conducted by a retired immigration judge and two immigration attorneys.