Cross the border to the United States


In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, where thousands of people lost their lives, crossing the border to enter the United States has become even more difficult, given that entry requirements they got much more strict.

This has resulted in a reinforcement of security measures and controls to be able to enter American territory, which has caused an increase in the number of people from countries that are going through severe crises, seeking to improve their quality of life and achieve ” the American dream”, they try to enter the country illegally and unsafe, even putting their own life at risk.

In the administration of President Trump, the strong restrictions implemented regarding the border crossing of immigrants, were harshly criticized, because they were considered to violate fundamental human rights.

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The construction of the border wall and the propagation of images of children in cages, separated from their parents and in deplorable conditions, which went viral on social networks, led to the rejection of many and the active protests by organizations that defend human rights.

Currently, the administration of President Joe Biden has taken a turn in border policies and seeks to make them “more humane”, but is facing a critical situation at the border, which has been increased by the health emergency caused by the pandemic of the Covid-19 and the large number of migrants who are in it and who are waiting to be able to cross to American soil.

This has resulted in the need to maintain President Trump’s emergency policy. The borders remain closed, until it’s considered that their reopening will not represent a public health and security crisis for the United States and the American authorities are allowed the power to expel all undocumented immigrants who try to cross illegally to the country, violating immigration laws and national security.

What agencies are in charge of border monitoring?

There are 2 government agencies whose function is to supervise and control the presence of immigrants in North American territory: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP, for its acronym in English) and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS, for its acronym in English), from which the U.S. Border Patrol is derived, whose priority mission is to prevent the passage of illegal migrants, drugs, weapons and terrorists to US.

What requirements are required to cross borders legally?

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The requirements vary depending on the immigration status and the country of origin of the person. Depending on the case, some of them are:

  • Permanent residents of the USA: To cross the border by land or sea, you only need your legal resident card (Green Card).
  • Canadian citizens: They need your passport and relevant legal documentation if you work in the USA.
  • Mexican citizens: Must present a passport and non-immigrant visa or a pre-approved border crossing card. If they work in US, they must present the documentation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade) or TLCAN (for its acronym in Spanish).
  • Citizens of other countries: Passport and respective visa (if applicable).

What are the land border crossings?

The border can be crossed from Mexico and Canada. Most of the illegal crossings occur from Mexico, which is why greater attention is paid to the limits between the Mexican territory and the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, which are the areas where there is a greater presence of illegal immigrants; for this reason, security measures are more reinforced and there is greater monitoring by border patrols in this area.

What is the Trusted Traveler Program?

It’s a program created by the Office of Customs and Border Protection (CBP, for its acronym in English), in order to expedite the border crossing and speed up the customs process. Applies only to American citizens and permanent US residents whose application has been approved by CBP and granted their border crossing card.

What is considered illegal entry into United States?

Under US immigration laws, several actions are considered illegal entry into American territory. Some of the most frequent are:

  • Entry through any part of the border other than an official immigration control post.
  • Enter hidden in a vehicle that enters through an immigration checkpoint.
  • Passing a checkpoint using a false or fraudulently obtained passport, visa or residence card, or documentation belonging to another person.

What happens if a person enters the United States illegally?

When a foreign person enters the American territory illegally, they are committing a crime, which can be considered a misdemeanor or felony, as the case may be, which carries immigration, economic and legal consequences.

If a person crosses illegally into United States for the first time, their crime is in the category of misdemeanor. This offense is punished with the payment of a fine and there is the possibility of being sentenced to prison for a maximum period of 2 years.

When a migrant crossing illegally is caught committing the crime or shortly after crossing, he or she may be subject to immediate or express deportation, which entails as a consequence that they are sanctioned with a punishment and they will not be able to return to United States again until 5 years have elapsed from the moment of deportation. In the event that a migrant manages to enter the country without being detained, they can later be arrested and be subjected to a deportation process.

Living in the United States is the dream of many people who leave their countries to opt for a better quality of life, but risking entering the country illegally can cut off your future and your hopes.

At Tramites de Inmigracion Corp we have an excellent team of lawyers specialized in immigration law, who are at your disposal to advise you legally and help you achieve your goal of living legally in United States.

Don’t hesitate to contact us! The best entry is always through the front door! Contact us by calling 1 (786) 776-7152 or 1 (786) 786-5088.

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