San Diego immigrant bond fund helps free man after 13 months of ICE detention
A San Diego immigrant bond fund has helped free nearly three dozen immigrants from federal immigration custody this year, including one man who had been detained for more than a year. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Jose had been in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody for 13 months when he became one of the 34 people helped by San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium’s Borderlands Get Free Fund.
If the federal government decides that a detained immigrant is even eligible for bond (the Trump administration has destructively sought to make this more and more difficult to access), it can be extremely cost-prohibitive, going into the thousands of dollars. This leaves immigrants detained away from their families and communities for lengthy amounts of time. This bond fund has sought to stop that.
“We created a committee that started looking into detention,” Monika Langarica, a committee member of the Borderlands Get Free Fund, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “And how we could help decrease the amount of people currently detained. We don’t want anyone to sit in prison just because they’re an immigrant.” Other efforts across the country have also helped free immigrants from ICE custody.
This past November, immigrant rights advocacy group RAICES, in conjunction with National Bond Network, paid bond for 200 people in more than 41 immigration jails across 20 states, totaling $2.1 million. “It’s ridiculous that people are coming to this country to seek safety, and they’re having to pay these outrageous amounts of money,” RAICES’ Blake Vera told CNN. “We’re stepping in to eliminate that financial obstacle.”
Because of the important work of organizations like The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and RAICES, immigrants can now fight their cases in freedom, which can greatly improve their success rate. “I believe my life is like a lot of other people who try and find stability on a day-by-day basis,” Jose told the Union-Tribune. “I’m very grateful to the United States for allowing me to live a calm life.”