Immigration Bond Amounts Decline in 2021

Austin Kocher, PhD
2 min readNov 3, 2021

Immigrants who are held in immigrant detention centers may be eligible for an immigration bond if they are not required to be detained. What we’ve found at TRAC is that immigration bond amounts have fallen slightly over the past six months from around $7,500 in March to $5,000 in September.

This isn’t a huge drop, but it’s not insignificant, either. We used a median to determine this decline, but keep in mind that many bond amounts are much lower, at around $2,500, while some are much higher, at $20,000 or more.

Immigration bonds are a bit different than standard criminal bail bonds in that they must be paid in full. In other words, the price of the bond — say, $10,000 — represents the true price of the bond. This means that a decline of $2,500 for the median bond amounts represents a true decline in the cost of being released from detention for immigrants and their families.

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One contextual point that is important to keep in mind here: the length of stay in detention has become extremely short over this same time period. The average length of stay has declined from about 90 days down to about 20 days, which means that the decline in bond amounts could be tied to other factors rather than simply a phenomenon of immigration judges being “nicer” when issuing bond decisions.

See my other recent post here about how to understand trends in immigrant detention: ICE Detention Numbers Decline, But That’s Not the Whole Story.

See TRAC’s immigration bond tool on our website by clicking here.



Austin Kocher, PhD

I study America’s immigration enforcement system. Assistant Professor at TRAC. Graduate of OSU Geography. Online at