Undocumented Immigrants Trying To Return to Mexico Run Into a Roadblock at the Border

Border fence in Nogales, Mexico. (Photo Credit: Ted Hesson)

At the same time that states like Alabama, Arizona, and Georgia are trying to drive out immigrants, the Obama administration is making it tough for undocumented workers to return home. In the past, undocumented immigrants heading back to Mexico were allowed to pass easily through the border, but new procedures have led to more arrests and detentions as immigrants leave the country.

Stricter exit procedures were put into place to curb arms smuggling from the US, but most of those caught in the dragnet are undocumented immigrants, some of whom are fleeing because of Arizona’s SB 1070 and copycat laws.

This unprecedented level of detention could reduce the number of undocumented workers leaving the country.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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