Whenever someone is in the country illegally, any kind of encounter with law enforcement can essentially lead to deportation. In Maryland and elsewhere, there are times when someone may be in the country for decades and then finds that an otherwise small incident leads to deportation. Recently, a man was deported after an incident with a coin machine. The fact there was a past immigration violation in his record has further hurt his cause.
The man had been in the United States for 16 years. He previously tried to enter with someone else’s green card in 1998 and was stopped and sent back. However, he crossed back over days later and lived, worked and started a family. He worked in a cabinet factory, then a scrap yard.
He took some change from a car at the scrap yard to a machine to change it into bills. The machine wouldn’t work right, and the police on the scene questioned him about what was happening and who he was. Later, officers came to his workplace and arrested him for theft related to the machine. After a week in jail and some time in a holding area for immigration detainees, he was taken back across the border and is now separated from his family back here in the states.
This man’s case echoes the plight of others who have also found themselves deported. His past immigration violation worked against him in this instance. While there are a record number of deportations happening, families are finding they are being split up with few options. Anyone in Maryland who is dealing with immigration issues or fears deportation based on past violations may benefit from understanding their rights and what they can do to try to protect themselves.
Source: nytimes.com, Paying Price, 16 Years Later, for an Illegal Entry, John Eligon and Damien Cave, March 19, 2014