Our mission is to empower immigrants who are detained in the San Francisco Bay Area to fight their immigration cases while remaining with their families and in the communities within which they live. We do this through raising money to help post bond for those individuals who have been placed in removal proceedings, have viable forms of relief, and who simply cannot afford to pay their bonds. Paying bond increases access to counsel and a fair hearing and ensures that individuals are not unnecessarily languishing in detention. We challenge a system that criminalizes, incarcerates, and disrupts the lives of immigrants and promote a system that respects immigrants’ rights to live freely and happily. We are cognizant of the fact that simply because an individual is placed in removal proceedings does not mean that they have no path towards legal status in the U.S.; in fact, with the help of competent counsel, many do. We believe it is their right to be able to make their case to an immigration judge free from the restraints of detention.
What We Do
Detained immigrants have a right to seek counsel in immigration cases, but they are not guaranteed free counsel – meaning that individuals must find and pay for their own legal representation. It is exceedingly hard for individuals to secure high quality legal representation and fight their case while detained – not to mention the strain detention puts on their family, life outcomes, and own well being. Once released, individuals have a much higher percentage chance of obtaining counsel.
We use the model of a revolving community bond fund. We work with partner NGOs to identify detained individuals who have a high likelihood of successfully fighting their removal and remaining lawfully in the United States if released from detention. After the cases are resolved, the money posted for the individual will be returned to the fund and can be used again to help bond out future immigrants who are detained. Our goal is to support detained individuals who are punished for not having the money to post a bond by helping them post bond. In doing so, we hope to aid these individuals by ensuring they have the opportunity to zealously fight for their right to remain in the United States.
*Source: Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice, “Access to Justice for Immigrant Families and Communities: Study of Legal Representation of Detained Immigrants in Northern California,” Oct. 2014 and TRACImmigration, "Three-fold Difference in Immigration Bond Amounts by Court Location," July 2018.