If a foreign citizen or permanent resident is taken into custody and not released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New Jersey, he/she is normally taken to the Elizabeth Detention Center. The Facility is located at 625 Evans Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey 07201. The phone number is 908-352-3776. Although the majority of Removal Proceedings are conducted at 970 Broad Street in Newark, inmates housed in Elizabeth ordinarily have their cases heard before an Immigration Judge at the actual facility. There are currently two Immigration Judges in Elizabeth.
Because this is a corrections facility with a history of riots and allegations of inhumane treatment, it goes without saying that it is in the best interests of any inmate placed there to seek release. Besides the obvious restraint on one's liberty, being detained presents many impediments to mounting an effective immigration defense strategy because access to support, witnesses, as well as counsel become, for all practical purposes, very limited. It is very hard to learn what your options are when you right to a telephone is restricted and you have to wait for someone to visit you.
One of the first things that needs to be determined if someone is detained is whether he or she is eligible for an immigration bond. Posting an immigration bond, like bail in a criminal case, will allow an alien to stay out of detention during the pendency of proceedings provided that a specified amount of money is posted and certain conditions adhered to. The minimum bond is $1500. If a higher bond is set, an attorney or qualified representative may be able to negotiate a lower amount with ICE, or if necessary, ask for a Bond Redetermination Hearing before an Immigration Judge.
If you plan on retaining an attorney to investigate a person's bond options, it is important that you try to secure as much information for the lawyer beforehand including the following:
• Alien's A#
• Who will the alien stay with? Does the alien have family members in the US with status?
• Alien's work history. Is the alien gainfully employed?
• Does the alien have a criminal record?
• What positive factors can be brought to a Judge's attention?
• What negative factors does the advocate need to be aware of?
Confronting these issues head on and proactively can be extremely beneficial in securing the release of someone in ICE custody.