A Chula Vista immigration lawyer managed to bail more than a hundred migrants from the Otay Mesa Detention Center. 

Through a program in which the community provides donations to raise funds for bonds, attorney Dulce Garcia has released 101 migrants in less than a year to continue their cases on probation, usually in the homes of their relatives in the United States.

“The two most recent cases were a Colombian woman and a man, unrelated cases, who were released on bail on Christmas Eve,” as an unexpected Christmas gift for both migrants and their families,”Garcia told Chula Vista Today.

The project began on Jan.7, 2021, when the lawyer asked for community support through social media for the program that will allow detained migrants at the Otay Mesa detention center to be released on bail instead of staying in private prison indefinitely or be deported. 

From that point on, Garcia helped migrants, especially those from Latin America and Africa to be released on parole. 

The lawyer said that the program first requests that the relatives of each detained person contribute as much as they can, although sometimes they are low-income families without resources.

For its part, the surety program contributes a maximum amount of $5,000 dollars and at times when necessary, requests contributions from groups or individuals to complete bond amounts. 

At hearings where the judge determines bail, Garcia makes arguments why the amount requested by the court should be minimal, and "sometimes the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins by demanding $20,000, $15,000 dollars, and at, in the end, we managed to reduce the deposit, ”she said.

Garcia is the executive director of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, a coalition of all organizations that help and advocate for migrants in the county. She is also the executive director of the organization Ángeles de la Frontera, the group that promotes the bond program for detained migrants. 

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