When people from another country break the law in Miami, or are unable to produce papers showing that they are legally allowed to be in the U.S., they can be put into a deportation unit run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Once placed in the unit, the immigrant will either remain there until they are deported back to their country of origin, or they may be able to obtain a release. Current immigration law does not offer those being held in such units much chance of being able to stay without vigorous appeals from family.
Due to budget restraints from the ongoing sequester, the ICE deportation unit in Miami recently released 225 immigrants being held there. The releases were part of a nationwide movement on the part of the government agency. It is unknown how many immigrants were released in Florida, itself, but an estimated 2,228 immigrants were allowed to reenter communities across the nation.
This is a larger number than the agency initially implied would be released and families around the Miami area are doubtlessly glad to see loved ones able to return home. Among the immigrants released from the Miami location were 76 immigrants who had been convicted of a crime. Those immigrants are not deemed to be a threat to the citizens of the city and remain under supervision.
For immigrants who are worried about deportation, there may be some programs that will allow them to obtain legal status. New programs allow some undocumented immigrants to use family hardship as a way to be granted a green card. Therefore, it may be beneficial for them to meet with an immigrations attorney and learn about these available programs.
Source: The Miami Herald, “Criminals among the 225 immigrants freed by ICE in Florida after sequester,” Alfonso Chardy, March 24, 2013