The Immigration Clinic Publishes Bond Data Collection Project Findings
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.