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Palm Beach County Immigration Attorney > Blog > Immigration > Do You Get Sent Back After Crossing the US Border?

Do You Get Sent Back After Crossing the US Border?


If you plan to move to the United States, it is best to choose a legal pathway. If you do plan to cross illegally, however, you might be wondering whether you will be sent back or accepted onto US soil. The answer is somewhat complex, and you may wish to discuss this further alongside a qualified immigration attorney in Palm Beach County. Not only can these lawyers help you understand the risks of illegal crossings, but they can also suggest legal alternative strategies.

Migrants Are Often Released “Directly into the Streets” 

A report from NBC News in December of 2023 stated that although a minority of migrants are detained after being detained by Border Patrol, most are released very quickly. In fact, the report stated that in the busiest migrant crossing areas, most are released “directly into the streets” without further detention or questioning.

The report highlighted serious overcrowding in migrant holding centers across the Southern Border. These facilities are so overcrowded that border control officials have no other option but to release migrants very quickly. One Homeland Security Official stated that border agents drop off buses filled with migrants in Nogales, Arizona “every 30 minutes.”

Keep in mind that border agents still do their best to process immigrants before releasing them in this manner. If you have a criminal record or an outstanding arrest warrant, you may be held in a processing center – and you are less likely to be admitted into the country.

What If You Arrive in Florida by Boat? 

If you arrive in Florida by boat, your immigration situation could be more complicated. According to reports from border officials, it seems as though there is a distinction between being caught on open water and landing on Florida soil.

If you are caught in open water, it seems that the Coast Guard or Navy has control over the general situation. This usually results in migrants on boats being “repatriated” or sent back to their last port of call.

If you successfully land in Florida itself, however, release into the United States is more likely. Generally speaking, anyone who “makes it” into the United States will be treated in the same way as those who cross land borders.

In February of 2024, Palm Beach County experienced an illegal boat landing in Tequesta. This ship was apparently filled with migrants from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and those on board were immediately apprehended after disembarking.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Rick Bradshaw explained:

“[…] if we stop them on the ocean, we give them back to the Coast Guard and between them and the Navy most of the time, they’re repatriated. They don’t want to come into the United States, so they don’t have to be given order over to Border Patrol.”

 Boat landings are becoming increasingly common in Palm Beach County.

Find a Qualified Immigration Lawyer in Palm Beach County 

Often, it is far easier to immigrate legally than immigrants realize. You may have specific work experience or skills that America desperately needs, and a work visa could be well within your grasp. You might qualify for asylum or refugee status. Instead of attempting an illegal crossing, it makes more sense to follow the guidance of a qualified immigration lawyer. To discuss this subject further, book a consultation with the Devore Law Group today.




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