Beyond Bond & Legal Defense Fund FAQ


How many people are detained by ICE in Boston?

Over 1400 people were detained by ICE at South Bay in the past 12 months, placing it in the top 20% of all immigration prisons in the US.

Do they receive a court appointed lawyer?

No. Unlike in criminal proceedings, people facing deportation are not entitled to free legal counsel. This includes children. Many detained people face immigration court alone without benefit of a lawyer, and without any knowledge of relief they might be eligible for.

What is the typical bond for immigration cases?

We see bond amounts between $1,500 and $14,000. This is unattainable for many of our neighbors, leaving people in jail for indeterminate periods, unable to support their families, and cut off from outside communication to fight their case.

What are the consequences of not making bond?

Prolonged stays in immigration jail are dehumanizing; there are no humane supports or access to basic services. For families, the loss of income creates hardship and crisis, including homelessness.  Legally, these cases proceed more quickly to deportation. There is a much higher chance of a favorable outcome (continued permission to remain in the US and reunited families) for people who have legal representation, post bond, and appear in court accompanied by their lawyer.

How many people will the Fund support?  

With $500,000 we expect to bond out as many as 150 people at a time as part of a revolving fund where bond is recycled back to the fund when cases resolve. Because of the length of immigration cases, we need significant up-front resources to bond out as many people as possible now. If the time comes when bond is no longer the greatest need, the fund will help support the work of immigrant-led justice groups.

Who administers the bond fund?

Currently, the Beyond Bond & Legal Defense Fund is held by Episcopal City Mission, a 501c3 organization. 

How is the money used?

The money is used to pay bond for people who are in immigration prison. When requested from a person in detention we also try to support with legal fees. We are focusing on supporting our neighbors detained at South Bay Detention Center in Boston. We also assist with transportation and other immediate costs for people released from detention.

As an accompaniment network, we follow the leadership of immigrant-led organizations on the front line and believe it is our responsibility to help support their work. The Fund will distribute 10% of funds raised to local immigrant-led justice groups.

How do I contribute?

You can donate on our Facebook Fundraiser.

Or donate online at http://www.episcopalcitymission.org/donate/ . Select “Boston Immigrant Justice Accompaniment Network Fund” when asked about donation type. Gifts are tax deductible.

Checks can be made out to Episcopal City Mission with “Beyond Bond Fund” in the memo line and mailed to:

Episcopal City Mission
138 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02111

How else can I support this work?

To get involved in the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network sign up at www.bit.ly/joinBIJAN

For more information

Evan Seitz, eseitz@uumassaction.org, 413-687-8444

Information on other community Bond and Bail Funds

Mass Bail Fund

Connecticut Immigrant Bail Fund

Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project

Immigrant Family Defense Fund (California)

Why bond funds work