BIA Decision in Matter of R-A-V-P-

Executive Office for Immigration Review

On March 18, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) published a decision about the “flight risk” element of immigration bonds. BIA precedent requires that individuals demonstrate they are not a danger to the community nor a risk of flight for them to even be able to pay an immigration bond. Here, the BIA was addressing the second element.

In this case, the BIA stated that:

The Immigration Judge properly determined that the respondent was a flight risk and denied his request for a custody redetermination where, although he had a pending application for asylum, he had no family, employment, or community ties and no probable path to obtain lawful status so as to warrant his release on bond.

Matter of R-A-V-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 803 (BIA 2020)

This is a negative decision for anyone asking an immigration judge for the ability to post a bond rather than remain detained during removal proceedings. It shows that while most people are usually able to get a bond even for serious criminal charges, the same is not true for immigration. Immigration judges will effectively review the actual case for relief, whether it’s asylum, cancellation of removal, or something else. If the judge doesn’t think that case looks likely to be approved, they simply write that the individual is a flight risk and bond is denied. Immigrant advocates will have to do their best to distinguish their cases from this one in order to get an immigration bond for their clients.