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August 2, 2018

Bonds At Hartford Immigration Court Highest In Nation
By Frankie Graziano

A Syracuse University study revealed that the Hartford Immigration Court on average sets the highest bonds in the nation for undocumented immigrants facing deportation proceedings. At $15,000, it’s twice the national average. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents set an initial bond when an undocumented immigrant is first detained. The detainee can then appeal to an immigration judge who can lower it. But that judge can also keep it the same, or even raise it. The Hartford Immigration Court is under the jurisdiction of the federal Justice Department’s Executive Office For Immigration Review. A spokesman told Connecticut Public Radio that the office “employs immigration judges who act independently in deciding the matters before them.” Alex Meyerovich, an immigration attorney at the M.C. Law Group, said that depending on how judges lean politically, that can be a big problem for those hoping to make bond. “If you’re looking at bonds set by liberal judges in let’s say New York—New York City—they could be $1,500,” Meyerovich said. “If you move to a more conservative jurisdiction—a good example: Connecticut is a fairly conservative jurisdiction -- the same bond could be as high as $15,000.” Sue Long, the co-director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, authored the study. Her unit found -- through examining records of court proceedings -- that Hartford and an immigration court in Tacoma, Washington had the highest average in the nation.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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