Minor mistakes could lead to extensive immigration detention

On behalf of Immigration & Nationality Law Group posted in Immigration Detention on Friday, October 25, 2019.

The unfortunate reality in the United States is that even minor, unintentional mistakes, if they break the law, can lead to extensive detention for those entering the country from elsewhere. You may feel like your situation is easily explainable and should not be a big deal, but the authorities could feel very different.

For instance, take the story of the family from England that accidentally turned from a road in Canada and onto a road in the United States. Pictures show the parallel roads running along with a few feet of grass between them. The family members claim it was an honest mistake and it's easy to see how it could happen. You could cross that distance in seconds.

Needless to say, that wrong turn had massive implications. The family got detained by the authorities, and they were held for two weeks before finally getting deported. They were just a seven-person family, with twin toddlers and a three-month-old baby, who allegedly made a mistake. Officials held them anyway, keeping them from Oct. 2 to around Oct. 15.

The authorities even disputed their story, in which the family claimed they turned onto the unmarked road while swerving around an animal. Officials claim they drove over intentionally.

This is by no means the only story of someone making a wrong turn or a minor error and ending up behind bars, and it does not just happen on the U.S.-Canada border. The story does serve as a warning, however. Small mistakes can have massive consequences. Anyone who finds themselves in a similar position needs to know what legal rights they have.