The New Jersey Supreme Court today hears arguments in a case that presents the question: “How much impact can a deportation detainer by Immigration and Customs Enforcement have on the setting of bail on a criminal charge?”
This case, State v. Fajardo-Santos, No. A-82-08, arises from an undocumented criminal defendant whose bail was raised after ICE placed a detainer on him. According to news reports, Manuel Fajardo-Santos, was charged with molestation of a child. Initially, a state judge set bail at $75,000. After ICE issued a hold on Fajardo-Santos in preparation for removal proceedings, prosecutors convinced another state judge to raise bail to $300,000—arguing that the ICE detainer constituted a new circumstance that increased Fajardo-Santos’s risk of flight.
Fajardo-Santos’s attorney argues that his client’s immigration status could not constitute a new circumstance because the prosecutors, the judge who set the initial bail, and another judge who reviewed the initial bail amount and refused to change it knew all along about the defendant’s immigration status, the Daily Record newspaper reported.
The New Jersey State Appellate Division overturned the bail increase.