Belkin Antonio Hernandez-Vargas was desperate to see his wife and get out of U.S. custody, so he turned to one of the biggest names in the business of helping immigrant detainees secure bail bonds. As a result, the company Libre by Nexus helped Belkin, an El Salvadorian secure an $8,000 bond after he was able to come up with 20%, or $1,600. In exchange, he agreed to pay $420 a month to wear a GPS tracker on his ankle.
1. If Libre by Nexus isn’t licensed to issue bonds, how does this arrangement work?
2. When signing the contract, what are these immigrants agreeing to and how does this lead to so much debt?
3. What is the reason why critics are concerned that pro bono attorneys may drag out immigration cases?
4. In your opinion, what needs to be done about Libre by Nexus and why?
5. What types of bonds are these?
6. According to the article, “unlike criminal bonds, the immigration equivalents — typically in the $7,500 to $15,000 range — require 100% collateral, such as a house or credit card, in addition to a nonrefundable payment of 15% to 20% of the total amount.” Based on this information, what Libre accounts will be affected by these transactions?
Flores, A. (2016). Immigrants Desperate To Get Out Of US Detention Can Get Trapped By Debt. Buzzfeed News.com, July 23 (Retrievable online at https://www.buzzfeed.com/adolfoflores/immigrant-detainees-and-bail-bond-terms?utm_term=.fw6pVxzQV#.tiDo7PAG7)