Crossing the southern border to immigrate to the United States is an intensive process that can impact your immigration options for legal status. This post discusses the process of immigrating to the United States via the southern border, including why individuals undertake such a journey, the risks involved, and the benefits.

Why do people make the journey to cross the border?

Crossing the U.S. southern border can be a long and dangerous journey. However, millions of people make this journey because of the opportunities to be found in the United States and/or because continuing to live in their home countries is no longer a safe option. With economic and political instability affecting many different countries, many families choose to invest their life savings and take the risk to make these several months long, dangerous journeys, that takes them through various countries before they reach the U.S.-Mexico border. They enter the U.S. knowing there are immigration consequences, including being detained, placed in removal proceedings, separated from their family members, and living in the U.S. without status. Why do people take these journeys and the risk? There are a whole range of factors that compel people to enter through the southern border, including geographic proximity, escaping persecution, desire for political stability, desire for more civil liberties and freedoms, family reasons, or desire to seek out new economic opportunities. For many people these factors are compelling and worth the risk of entering the U.S. through the U.S. -Mexico border and facing any immigration consequences.

Risks involved in immigrating via the southern border

The southern United States border can be risky to cross. When traveling to the border, a lot of families must watch out for organized crime, robbery, assaults, and abductions. Sometimes children are separated from their parents. Some people also fall victim to trafficking or being taken advantage of by people who help them to cross the border. Additionally, many individuals run the legal risks associated with entering the U.S. through the border. This can result in detention by ICE and DHS as well as lengthy legal proceedings. It is also possible that because of the way they enter, these individuals are not eligible for certain immigration relief. They also risk living with constant fear of being removed from the U.S. if they are not able to obtain legal status. Therefore, the risks involved with immigration through the southern border are high but the willingness of people to take the journey knowing these risks indicates that there are powerful reasons behind this decision. For many, taking on these risks is a necessity for a better life or for survival.

Economic benefits and opportunities

A significant portion of immigrants come to the United States with career and economic opportunities as the primary motivation. Whether it be to start a business or to come to the U.S. on a work visa, a lot of families find the number of economic opportunities available in the United States a compelling reason to travel to a new country and make significant life changes. Many immigrants also come from countries that have economic crises and lack economic freedom, such as Venezuela. The Venezuelan economic crisis triggered a mass migration of people seeking political and economic stability, which is why Venezuela was added to the Department of State Temporary Protected Status (TPS) list in 2021. The southern border provides the most convenient point of entry for people coming from Venezuela and other countries located south of the United States seeking economic stability.

Why hire an immigration attorney to immigrate through the southern border?

There are many important legal considerations to consider if you choose to immigrate through the southern border. A licensed immigration attorney will help you explore your options for immigration relief and navigate the legal immigration system in the United States. 

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