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San Antonio ICE aggressively pursues deportation of victims of domestic violence

ICE's decision to issue no bond to a victim of domestic violence.

ICE’s decision to issue no bond to a victim of domestic violence.

She was fleeing her country in terror. Her partner brutally beat her when she was pregnant in an attempt to kill her unborn baby. When she went to the police, her partner continued to follow her and threatened to kill her.  She had no choice but to escape to the only place she thought would be safe, the United States.

But when she came to the United States to beg for refuge, she learned that ICE was far more interested in sending her back to her native country than allowing her to apply for asylum.

Even after an asylum officer determined that she had established a significant possibility of obtaining asylum before an immigration judge, ICE did not issue a bond. Remember, this woman has suffered substantial physical and mental trauma.

ICE knows that the chances of her obtaining asylum while detained are significantly diminished. ICE intentionally decided to not issue a bond so that it would be easier to deport her.

When we sent ICE documentary proof of the violence she suffered at the hand of her ex-partner, ICE set a bond for $7500, which is still an unattainable sum for a woman who has no close family in the United States and who left her country in a rush to saver her life.

We tried a third time to convince ICE to lower the bond or release her on her own recognizance. Before considering this, ICE wants us to write a letter stating that we are representing the case pro bono.

If she could afford to pay the high bond set, she would not still be detained. The additional proof that ICE is requesting is yet another obstacle that this victim must overcome to be treated in a fair and humane way.

San Antonio ICE’s policy of aggressively pursuing the removal of victims of domestic violence must stop. It runs counter to well-established ICE prosecutorial discretion guidelines and is just wrong.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. The pro bono letter requirement is gross. So we have to work for free in order for our clients to get justice? How about the ICE officers work for free when they unjustly deport people? At minimum, the officers/judges spending time messing with USCs shouldn’t get paid for the time they spent doing so.

    November 2, 2013
  2. Linda #

    Is your client in Taylor- Don T Hutto? There is a pilot project between Casa Marienella and American Gateways so that women from central america who are applying for asylum can stay at Casa in Austin for free while fighting their case. It is my understanding that ICE is also involved in this partnership and are releasing women on their own recognizance if accepted into the pilot program. Hopefully this will work for your client since I have also witnessed considerable inconsistency in ICE;s determining who gets a bond to (and the amount). Keep the candle burning!

    November 3, 2013
    • Unfortunately she is not at Don Hutto. Thank you for the information, it may be helpful in a future case.

      November 4, 2013

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