Migrants in the U.S. have paid 2 billion dollars in bail over the past six years to be released from detention centers


The bail that migrants pay to be released from detention centers and go under the radar of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now reached 2 billion dollars since 2017, with an average amount of 6 thousand dollars per person.

The figure is an estimate from a Syracuse University NGO (New York) dedicated to collecting data for later use in research, which is now being made public in a report.

Bails are imposed to free up space in detention centers and ensure that migrants, once released, attend court hearings and other proceedings when called by ICE authorities.

In total, ICE has imposed bail on a quarter of a million migrants, and these skyrocketed in 2019: that year, the money collected in bail reached a peak of half a million dollars.

The Covid pandemic lowered the numbers of detained migrants and also bail amounts, but in February 2022, the latter began to rise until August 2022; afterward, they decreased throughout 2023 despite the increase in detained individuals.

ICE offices that have collected the most bail over these seven years are Eloy (Arizona), with 185 million collected, followed by Adelanto (California), with 155 million; Oakdale (Louisiana), Miami (Florida), and Houston (Texas).

The average amount per individual bail is particularly high in Adelanto (California), reaching $15,000 per migrant.