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Immigration bonds getting more expensive in Arizona

(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Superior Court)

PHOENIX — Bonds issued by immigration judges are getting more expensive.

The median immigration bond price immigration judges issued in Arizona was $60 in 2006. It’s now at $12,000. That’s according to data by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

Similar numbers are seen across the country. Currently, the median immigration bond price issued by immigration judges nationwide is $8,000. That’s up from $50 in 2006.

Phoenix immigration attorney Ayensa Millan said those numbers fall in line with what she’s seeing.

“Most of the bonds in my docket – the cases I’ve handled in the last couple years – are ranging between $10,000 to $15,000,” she said. “Sometimes they’re upwards of $20,000. The lowest one I’ve received recently is $3,000.”

She said bonds issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which happens rarely, are even higher. She recently had clients who were issued $60,000 bonds by ICE. She appealed the cost to immigration judges, and the costs were brought down significantly.

Millan said based on her experience, immigrants used to be released without having to pay a bond if they didn’t have a serious criminal history or if they didn’t pose a threat to society under the Obama administration.

“Under this administration, what we see is that they will be issued a bond but they will be issued a very high bond,” she said.

Millan said most immigrants come from low income families and don’t have large amounts of money at their disposal.

“And these aren’t like criminal bonds where you can put 10 percent up front,” she said about immigration bonds. “You have to pay in full in order for this person to be released.”

Still, Millan said most of her clients will try to pay for the bond.

“If the family cannot come up with the money, what we typically see is that the person prefers to just be removed from the country as opposed to waiting it out,” she said.

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