A caravan of people recently traveled together to the border between the United States and Mexico. News of the caravan's pending arrival had been a hot topic in the media for some time. Many Florida residents are immigrants who remember what it was like when they took their first steps across U.S. borders. Some people in the caravan said they are unsure whether they will cross over to the United States because they fear severe repercussions due to current U.S. immigration law constraints.
Entering the country without proper paperwork places immigrants at risk for immediate deportation. However, there is a set removal process in place and it might take days, weeks or even months for a particular case to be fully adjudicated. In the meantime, many men, women and children are placed in various detention centers throughout the nation while they wait for the U.S. government's final decisions.
Several people recently spoke about dire conditions in such facilities. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have repeatedly been accused of mistreating immigrants during detainments. More than one situation involved allegations against ICE, saying detained immigrants were denied needed medical treatment. Sadly, there have been fatalities believed to have been caused by lack of proper medical care in numerous detention centers.
As more and more people in Florida and beyond hear similar stories about immigrants being chained or family members being separated from one another, some say they are asking themselves whether crossing the U.S. border is worth it. Although many have said they arrived at such borders while fleeing violence and persecution in their countries of origin, they also say they fear more of the same if they enter the United States. Many immigrants have overcome U.S. immigration law problems by relying on assistance from experienced immigration attorneys.