An immigration judge in Dallas set bail at $30,000 Thursday for a Palestinian businessman from Richardson who, along with his wife and children, was detained for three months.

The ruling means that Salaheddin Ibrahim, 37, could be released as early as Friday from federal custody in Haskell, Texas. He then would await the outcome of a yet-to-be scheduled asylum hearing for him and his family.

A brother of Ibrahim said that friends, relatives and supporters contributed enough money for his release and intended to post his bond early today.

Initially after Thursday morning’s bail hearing, there was confusion over whether Ibrahim could be immediately released. His attorneys said that the government could legally continue to hold him for 30 days or more if they decided to appeal the bail ruling.

But according to Carl Rusnok, a Dallas spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the fact that both the government and Mr. Ibrahim’s attorney reserved the right to appeal the decision should not affect his release.

“The way I understand it, is that he can be released after he posts bond, assuming he posts bond,” Rusnok said.

Dallas lawyer John Wheat Gibson maintained that Mr. Ibrahim should have been released without bond. He said the government was trying to “get even” with his client for the embarrassment generated last week by news stories that Ibrahim’s pregnant wife and children, ranging in age from 5 to 15, had been held in a jail-like center near Austin since their arrest Nov. 2.

Ibrahim’s wife, Hanan, and the children were released Saturday and returned to their Richardson apartment.

Gibson emphasized that he believes the continued detention of Ibrahim, after his family’s release, is an example of the “institutional racism” that exists in U.S. immigration policy toward Arabs.


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