The Immigration Clinic Publishes Bond Data Collection Project Findings

alt text
Professor Maureen Sweeney (left) and Staff Attorney Gabriela Kahrl (right) lead Maryland Carey Law's Immigration Clinic students.

The Immigration Clinic’s Bond Data Collection Project started just after President Trump took office in January 2017. The goal was to determine what effect, if any, the change in administration would have on bond amounts and due process. Under Staff Attorney Gabriela Kahrl and Professor Maureen Sweeney’s supervision, law students gathered data through observation of the bond docket at the Baltimore Immigration Court beginning in January 2017 and ending August 2017. Three students led the initiative: Virginia Giannini, Daniel Schutrum-Boward, and John Sun. Giannini and Schutrum-Boward carried the project forward in 2018, re-designed the data collection questionnaire and process, and also ensured the project was staffed with student volunteers. The 2018 data will be issued in a second report.

The report titled “Presumed Dangerous: Bond, Representation, and Detention in the Baltimore Immigration Court” was recently published on the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.’s website. This is the first study of the Baltimore Immigration bond court. Among the most critical findings were:

  • A 38% increase in bond amounts in the months following President Trump’s inauguration
  • People with lawyers had a far higher chance of obtaining a bond.  Represented people were granted bond in 72% of cases; only 48% of people without lawyers received bond.  The bond amounts of people without lawyers were also 14% higher on average when bond was granted.
  • Any allegation of gang membership or affiliation resulted in a denial of bond in 88% of cases.

About Maryland Carey Law

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law was established in 1816 and began regular instruction in 1824. It is the third-oldest law school in the nation, but its innovative programs make it one of the liveliest and most dynamic today. Maryland Carey Law stands among five other professional schools on the Founding Campus of the University of Maryland. It has taken advantage of this location to become an integral part of the Baltimore-Washington legal and business community.