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Many detained, deported immigrants sent to Mexicali

Scores of illegal immigrants are deported every year from Texas and other states throughout the nation. For most Americans, the philosophy is, 'out of sight, out of mind,' as those immigrants are sent back to Mexico and other Latin American countries. For many Mexicans who have spent time in immigration detention, Mexicali has become a kind of landing spot. These immigrants, who are known to the Mexican government as "repatriated persons," often lack the financial and social resources to effectively reintegrate into their home nation's economic fabric. Now, a growing number of those individuals are benefiting from services and aid offered to those who end up in Mexicali after being deported.

Mexicali is a 700,000-person town just across the California border. In the past, such border cities were reserved for immigrants who were working to make their way north. Now, they serve as catch-alls for Mexicans who have been ripped from their American homes, including U.S.-born offspring. These immigrants leave behind employment opportunities, rent and car payments, occupying a sort of limbo that is neither fully American nor Mexican. Mexicali has become the city of choice for many recent deportations because of the influence of Mexican drug cartels in other locations such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, according to official reports.

A shocking 410,000 illegal immigrants were deported during the 2012 fiscal year. The majority of those immigrants were sent back to their homes in Mexico. During the past two years, more than 113,000 people have been absorbed into Mexicali alone. Some of those decide to risk border crossing again, only to face even more significant punishment; one man has spent time in federal prison camps in addition to immigration detention because of his five attempts to re-enter the United States.

Immigration detention and related issues are clearly complicated political matters that deserve careful consideration. Still, when politicians and voters see the plight of many of those who have suffered through deportation, one can only hope that they will have compassion on these illegal immigrants. Individuals who are struggling with their own immigration detention processes may benefit from the services of a qualified Texas immigration attorney, who can help them learn more about their legal rights and options.

Source:  Washington Post, "Mexicali becomes city of deported as US sends 'repatriates' there" Nick Miroff, Jan. 19, 2014

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