Community Raises Bail Money For Bay Area ICE Detainees

Two Bay Area men are out of ICE custody Saturday after their community raised the $95,000 for their bond.

A homecoming rally was held for them at the Richmond Detention Facility - where they once detained. The two men say - the community’s support - has given them new motivation to fight their case.

"It feels great! Just to be with my family, reunited, it’s just something I personally didn’t think was going to be possible," said Victor Hernandez.

Hernandez, 29, grew up in San Jose and had a clean record before being arrested for marijuana possession.

That landed the father of four in ICE custody and after Contra Costa County terminated its ICE contract at the Richmond facility, he was moved to Colorado.

"All our resources were here," Hernandez said. "Our lawyers were here, all our help was pretty much here in California."

New restrictions made working with his lawyer more difficult as well. For example, he wasn’t allowed to use email.

"If anything was needed urgently, my attorney wasn’t able to come visit me, and get papers signed," he said. "He had to send them through the mail, and wait until I received them, signed the, and sent them back."

Many who turned out for Saturday’s homecoming rally claim the Trump administration is purposely putting up road blocks for those going through the immigration process.

"Bonds are becoming higher, judges and government officials have become more restrictive, less discretion, so we are seeing this a part of a pattern of making it more difficult," said Deborah Lee, executive director of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity.

The other man released was Hugo Aguilar, who has been transferred to a facility in Yuba City. His bond set at $80,000, which many believe is too high for an immigration violation.

NBC Bay Area reached out to ICE but they were unavailable for comment.

However, in a recent email to NBC Bay Area they said such accusation against ICE are baseless and "When ICE is not allowed to work with local jurisdictions to house detainees closer to their families, friends and attorneys, farther facilities must be utilized."

"I’m going to do whatever I have to do to saty here," said Aguilar.

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