USA: Get Out This Way!

The United States has long been touted as a land of welcome. Historical reality, however, suggests that they have a vague relationship with immigration. Between official evacuations and more or less voluntary departures, about 56 million people have returned to the border in a century. Making the United States a relentless smuggling machine, argues historian Adam Goodman.

If one has difficulty imagining how deportation activities unfold, the first film that comes to mind is the picture of the immigration investigation. The magistrate presides, wearing a black gown. Immigrants appear alone and the right to legal aid does not apply. Small children, sometimes up to 3 years old, “make sure to defend themselves”, which can be very confusing. Hearing ability can be very long (up to four hours) or very short (a few minutes). The United States Immigration and Customs Service (ICE) agency presents case evidence – arrest in the desert, expired visa – and the magistrate will consider whether to deport the person in front of her or allow her to stay. After that she says her verdict. But, in reality, this is not the case in most deportation cases investigated in the United States.

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