Inmates in immigration detention have the right to seek a bond hearing, at which a judge determines whether the inmate must stay in detention or has permission to get out on a bond, notes Nolo. This process is similar to arrested citizens posting bonds to allow freedom until court proceedings.
After an immigrant is detained, he receives assignment to a deportation officer, according to Nolo. This officer has several options: offering voluntary departure, stipulated removal or another form of release. While voluntary departure does not put a removal order on the detainee's record, it sometimes leads to the forfeiture of any relief for the immigrant, such as cancellation of removal proceedings or eventual asylum. A deportation attorney is helpful here, as he often recommends such relief as Temporary Protected Status or Cancellation of Removal.
Conditions in immigration detention are similar to those in a prison, and detainees are sometimes housed in local prisons, as stated by Nolo. Detainees with medical conditions have the right to seek treatment at the expense of the Department of Homeland Security. Immigration attorneys advocate for their clients to get this treatment. If the detainee goes to a bond hearing, the immigrant either remains in detention or follows the order that the judge puts in place. The judge also sets a Master Calendar hearing date at which the immigrant responds to the allegations of the government and requests relief. If a relief claim is made, the next step is a Merits Hearing. The whole process can drag on for years, depending on the relief sought.