August 19, 2020

“A Mexican father of 3 US citizen children decided to leave detention through voluntary departure after over
20 years in the US because an ICE agent told him he would have to wait 10 to 12 months in detention to
fight his case to stay. In other words, he would have to endure almost a year of poor conditions in the midst
of a pandemic for a chance to stay with his children. Although he had lived in the US since the age of 8,
when the local police stopped him for a traffic infraction and discovered that he did not have a license, ICE
quickly requested his transfer into custody. He asked repeatedly to call his family, and ICE agents told him to
wait. His release report inaccurately states that he refused his one phone call. Because all his family is in the
US, he is considering paying a smuggler to attempt to cross through the desert since he sees no other
pathway with the border being closed and no cases being processed. He hoped that through voluntary
departure, he would be able to petition to come back to the US from Mexico since he has children who are
citizens. With all offices closed, he doesn’t know where to turn.”

Source: Kino Border Initiative, “August 20 Update From KBI”, August 2020. <>

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): ICE

Event Type(s): Conditions in Custody, Lying or Deliberate Misleading

Accountability Status: Unknown