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  1. #1
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    Oct 2018
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    Default How to Recover a Bond Posted With the INS

    I took on a pro bono citizenship case (I'm not an immigration lawyer). In the course of interviewing my client, we found out he was having issues getting a $15,000 INS bond returned. My client was detained in 2002 by the INS on an expired travel visa . To secure his release, he had to post the $15,000 bond. He obtained the money from his family in China and has documentation evidencing the wire transfer of the funds. The deportation/removal actions have long been vacated and he is now a legal permanent resident of the U.S. seeking citizenship.

    My client's roommate at the time posted the bond with the immigration court with the family funds. Both were living in Los Angeles County.

    I’ve checked with the Bond Recovery Unit of the INS and the $15,000 is still being held by them. The typical process is for the obligor on the bond to make a petition for its return. Unfortunately, after several months of searching for the roommate and sending letters and emails and making phone calls, we are unable to locate him. My client went so far as to fly from the east coast to the west coast to search for him with no luck.

    I spoke with the Bond Recovery Unit at the INS regarding what to do in the event that the original INS obligor cannot be located. They didn’t have any specific advice, but indicated that they could probably accept a default judgment from a court of competition jurisdiction from the person seeking return of the bond funds indicating that the funds are rightfully theirs.

    Has anyone dealt with this issue and if so and could provide some advice? Even better would be if someone has redacted precedent documents they might be willing to share? I have contacted AILA, HIAS and several other immigration assistance organizations and spoken to about 8 or 9 immigration lawyers to try to resolve this for my client, all with no luck, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to Recover a Bond Posted With the INS

    There has been no organization called the INS since March, 2003, at which time most of the functions of the INS were transferred to agencies within the recently formed Department of Homeland Security (the USCIS, ICE, and CBP).

    What is your underlying question? Is it whether your client can obtain a refund of the bond posted by a third party upon a claim that the third party cannot be located?

    Frankly, most people are not that difficult to find. If your client wants to find the person, he can hire an investigator to do a records search for considerably less than the cost of an airplane ticket and travel costs and odds are the person will be located.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2018
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    Default Re: How to Recover a Bond Posted With the INS

    Yes, my question is whether one can obtain a refund of the bond posted by a third party upon a claim that the third party cannot be located, and whether anyone has experience with this. Ideally, precedential documents would be very helpful.

    We have already hired an investigator and done searches to find this individual (prior to our pro bono representation, our client flew out on his own to find the guy - agree that this is not an efficient use of resources). The individual hasn't been located and he may have gone back to China. Any solutions?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    273

    Default Re: How to Recover a Bond Posted With the INS

    He should find an attorney with experience in the appropriate area of law. If he cannot afford a private one, suggest he try the legal clinic at the local law school.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2018
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    Default Re: How to Recover a Bond Posted With the INS

    We are directly working with HIAS and I have worked with AILS. I've spoken with the most senior immigration attorneys at both groups and neither had any info to provide.

    I appreciate all of the suggestions. If anyone has experience with this particular issue that would be very helpful. Thanks much.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2018
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    Default Re: How to Recover a Bond Posted With the INS

    I am an experienced attorney, just not an immigration lawyer. Took this as a pro bono matter to help this gentleman with getting his citizenship through a HIAS-sponsored clinic. That part is going just fine. However, he asked for help on this bond issue, too. He has very little money and we're trying to help him out. He could not be nicer or more appreciative of our efforts, but we have been striking out on this one. He is guilt-ridden because he can't pay his family back.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to Recover a Bond Posted With the INS

    Quote Quoting kdelaney20
    View Post
    Yes, my question is whether one can obtain a refund of the bond posted by a third party upon a claim that the third party cannot be located, and whether anyone has experience with this. Ideally, precedential documents would be very helpful.
    I see nothing that would suggest that the law gives the beneficiary of the bond any right to receive the third party's money, which is likely why you're having a difficult time finding authority for the contrary position. Everything I can see involves helping a person who posts the bond on behalf of another recover the bond, for example after losing the original receipt.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2018
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    Default Re: How to Recover a Bond Posted With the INS

    Thanks very much. No one I've spoken with has dealt with the issue, so I guess I got lucky!

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