CeBONDS and CBP One are supposed to help streamline the immigration system, but the flawed technology creates more hurdles and puts migrants’ freedom and safety at risk

By Tina Vásquez, Prism

In a move that advocates describe as “covert” and “abrupt,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced last month it is transitioning to a new online system that “increases convenience” for those seeking to bond immigrants out of detention. There’s one problem: The system doesn’t work.

us border patrol

ICE’s Cash Electronic Bonds Online—called CeBONDS for short—is the latest attempt under the Biden administration to modernize immigration processes through digital technology. However, much of what’s being rolled out by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees federal immigration agencies, is not only riddled with serious flaws, but is largely inaccessible to the immigrants now forced to rely on these new, web-based systems.

According to ICE, CeBONDS allows users to verify bond information, post bonds, and receive notifications for bonds using what appears to be an easy-to-navigate system. The obligor, the person or entity posting the bond, simply creates a CeBONDS account and fills out information for themselves and the person being bonded out of detention. The obligor then uploads identity documents and submits the bond payment request. Once ICE approves the bond for payment, the obligor fills out and signs the online bond contract before paying the bond via an electronic funds transfer or by using Fedwire, operated by the Federal Reserve Bank. After uploading the bond payment receipt to CeBONDS and clicking submit, ICE processes the information. If all information was submitted properly, ICE releases the person from detention.

Read More