LIFE Bond Fund
AN INHUMAN SYSTEM: IMMIGRANTS DETAINED, DEPORTED AND DENIED DUE PROCESS
As the attack on immigrants worsens, so do the staggering backlogs and wait times in immigration courts. The average wait time is now almost two years per case, and the backlog set a record, exceeding 650,000 cases. More than 400,000 immigrants will be imprisoned in the coming year before any finding that they are even deportable. Many cannot find affordable, trustworthy lawyers and are left to fight their own cases behind bars with few resources.
The Justice Department’s own data show mass incarceration of immigrants is unnecessary. In a recent study of all detained immigrants released on bond, more than two-thirds (68%) were ultimately ruled not to be deportable. Of those freed on bond, just 14% failed to appear for a court hearing, a rate significantly lower than the overall rate. The New Sanctuary Coalition believes that no one should be deported and that caging immigrants is an injustice that should outrage us all.
A HUMAN RESPONSE: NSC’s L.I.F.E BOND PROGRAM
Created in 2017 thanks to a generous seed grant from an anonymous donor, the NSC Live In Faith Everyday Bond Fund's main objective is to bond out those detained so they can fight their cases from their communities instead of behind bars.
Once bond is set, NSC wires the funds to a faith leader, who then obtains a cashier’s check from their banking institution. The check is submitted in person along with necessary documents at 26 Federal Plaza. Each NSC faith leader understands the requirements for this program and assumes responsibility.
To date, the program has freed more than 25 immigrants from unlawful and inhumane incarceration. Some have lived in the United States for decades. Their divergent lives and experiences bear testament to the arbitrary and cruel basis of the government’s decisions about who represents a danger to the community. The fund has freed a young man who is legally blind and suffers from cerebral palsy, a young woman who spent her 18th birthday in a Texas jail, and a mother of an 8-year-old who was separated from her child for 14 months.
Given the long wait times for processing immigration cases, it may be two years or more before these funds can be returned to the program. We are seeking new funds to be able to continue to bond out friends in the meantime.
New Sanctuary Coalition is a nonprofit with a small staff and 500+ volunteers who work to stop deportations and detentions in order to keep communities and families together.