A recent and typically misleading Facebook post that recently has been circulating Tampa Bay-area computer screens incorrectly claims immigration detainees are free to leave and return to Mexico at any time. The blatantly false Facebook post declares in a highly bigoted and prejudicial manner: “Illegals are free to leave detention centers anytime to go back to Mexico.”
The post is completely false and pushes an obviously racist and highly prejudicial narrative that claims virtually all federal detainees are from Mexico. Federal immigration law enforcement occurs via ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which are the two federal agencies that would detain immigrants while determining their legal status.
It is very important to emphasize that social media channels like Facebook are sources of massive misinformation and intentional disinformation. One never should rely on social media for information on virtually anything. The internet, unfortunately, enables the wide circulation of extremely bad information, such as the Facebook post in question. The information is especially bad when it pretends to provide legal advice that, ultimately, could cause someone to make a mistake that leaves them in big trouble.
When it comes to immigration law, an experienced immigration law firm is the best hope for effective legal representation. Once a person has been detained, they cannot simply choose to leave and “return to Mexico.” The best way to end detainment is to petition the agency for a voluntary departure, which can happen when someone has been detained for at least a year. Otherwise, they must undergo the federal procedure to petition for legal entry, which an immigration attorney might be able to help with.