Photo: Border Agents Now Being More Thorough in Checking Those Leaving the U.S., Not Just These Arriving
As the violent drug war continues south of the border, those coming in to the United States through the legal checkpoints are used to having their documentation scrutinized, but in a twist, those heading into Mexico are seeing an increase in the scrutinization of their documents as well.
Border agents have begun boarding buses heading south, usually full of migrants returning home after working in the U.S., in the hopes of catching those trying to illegally bring contraband back to Mexico or other Latin American countries.
Though the agents are looking for illegal contraband, undocumented immigrants are getting caught up in the searches and are being detained and fingerprinted. So those without criminal records are usually let go, but for those with records, “they are likely to be arrested and formally deported.”
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Arizona border say they have been successful in stopping illegal contraband from leaving the U.S., and between July 18 and July 24 seized more than $22,000 in cash, 5,943 rounds of ammunition, and detained over 1,600 undocumented immigrants.
Officials have said the more thorough examination of those leaving the U.S. is not intended to discourage people from leaving, and human rights groups and immigration advocates are questioning the point of checking the documentation more closely at all considering it wastes tax payers money to check up on people that are trying to leave.
For those wanting all undocumented out of the U.S. and support tighter, more secure borders, these searches could backfire and instead of leaving, undocumented immigrants could simply leave states like Arizona and head to states with less strict immigration laws.
With borders agents detaining those leaving, fewer are going to risk leaving, even if they’re being pushed to.