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Immigration Newsweek

Immigration Newsweek

By: Atty. Henry Moyal

I went to jail three times this month. Well, not for crimes I committed but to represent immigration clients who were held in immigration detention. As immigration (only) detention centre get full, it is very common for the federal government to detain and hold individuals in criminal jails despite the fact that these individuals have not committed any criminal offences. One such place is Maplehurst Correctional Centre in Milton, Ontario where people on “immigration hold” wear the same orange jumpsuits, pay $12 for a haircut and live in the same cells as their criminally charged brethren. That also means that immigration hearings are held in the jail and recorded just like any other immigration proceeding. That is where I found myself several times this month trying to help clients get out of immigration detention despite their alleged immigration violations. While Canada Immigration will often argue that they are afraid these persons will flee and not show up to future immigration hearings, the key to the issuance of a release order is the presence of a bondsperson.

The role of the bondsperson, is that they will be depositing and/or pledging money to ensure that the person in detention will follow all conditions of the release order. Bondspersons sometimes offer their residence but it will be up to the immigration member hearing the case if the offer, along with other conditions, is a suitable alternative to detention. If the person detained does not obey all the release conditions, then CBSA may keep the money deposited and/or pledged.
Bondspersons usually testify at detention reviews and are asked questions to ensure they are suitable. Having money is not the only factor. Not all persons are suitable bondspersons.
Some criteria are:
*be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
*be at least 18 years old
* be present and currently residing in Canada
* know the person in detention
* come forward of your own free will
* be willing to pledge your own money ( there is no specific amount required. Final amount is determined by the member)
* offer supervision to the person in detention

In general, there are two types of bonds – either a cash bond or performance bond (or combination of both). To provide a performance bond persons must demonstrate total income and expenses where the net amount is a multiple of 3 times the amount
offered. If paying cash bond, the source of funds must be from the bondsperson and not from the person in detention.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario.
The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document.
Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email or call 416 733 3193