Illegal reentry: The risks and what you should know

Illegal reentry refers to entering the United States after being removed. It is a serious offense and may result in fines, imprisonment and deportation. The exact penalties will vary based on why you were removed from the country in the past and how long it has been since then as well as other factors.

Did you know that 23,769 cases sent to the U.S. Sentencing Commission were immigration cases in 2020? Of those, a surprising 82.7% were for illegal reentry into the country. The total number of reentry cases has increased by around 24.3% since 2016, showing just how significant this issue can be.

Are the people who come back to the U.S. criminals?

In many cases, these are people who may have been deported or refused entry in the past but who have no criminal background. A total of 41.5% of those committing reentry offenses in 2020 had little or no prior criminal history to speak of.

Perhaps surprisingly, 96.7% of those who were arrested for illegal reentry were men, and 99.1% were Hispanic.

Why do people come back to the country illegally?

There are dozens of reasons why people come to America, just as there are many reasons why they come back to America illegally. One of the main reasons is poverty. Some other people may believe that they have no choice due to war or famine. Others may have family in the country or have been deported despite never having lived outside of the U.S. due to visa-related issues. Regardless of the cause, if you’re accused, you will need to defend your actions.

What should you do if you’re accused of illegally reentering the country?

If you are accused of this offense, you do need to have a strong defense and build a case to help you stay in the country. You may be able to apply for refugee status and asylum, or you may have other options open to you. It’s important for you to have a good understanding of the law and to make sure you can present a compelling case for why you should be able to remain in the country.