The price immigrants are paying for their freedom

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2017 | US Immigration Law

President Trump’s immigration crackdown could see numbers far surpass the more than 350,000 undocumented immigrants detained between October 2015 and September 2016. A backlog of those seeking asylum, violating visas and facing criminal charges wait for their cases to be heard. Eligible for bail, but unable to pay, their fear and frustration are forcing these detainees to seek help.

Libre by Nexus has grown from a small operation in rural Virginia to a booming business with 6,500 current clients, 200 employees and nearly 30 offices. They are in the business of helping these undocumented immigrants post their bonds. Few companies have benefited more from a broken immigration system.

Immigrants sign contracts with Libre, promising to pay the company $420 per month while wearing their GPS devices. These agreements are also the subject of fraud allegations and lawsuits. Immigrants allege that they signed documents that they didn’t understand, specifically the monthly installment going towards the GPS, not bail.

Struggling to pay the monthly amount required for wearing the device, they faced threats of being sent back to detention for non-payment, an allegation co-founder and chief executive Michael Donovan disputes. He claims that contracts are signed without pressure and thoroughly explained. In addition, not one immigrant has been returned to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for non-payment.

Critics counter those denials by accusing Libre of preying on the people they claim to help, making millions of dollars along the way.

With a total of 12,500 immigrants choosing Libra since its inception, business is good. However, it allegedly comes at a price. Freedom isn’t free, but it can be traded for money and what many consider a shackle.