As many Louisiana immigrants may attest, thousands of people come to the United States when they are unable to find jobs in their countries of origin. In fact, many later say they were living in such poverty that they felt it was better to risk illegally entering the U.S. than try to survive another day in their circumstances. Such situations often lead to immigration detention, as it did for one man in another state who had been living, working and raising a family in the United States for approximately 14 years.
The man had held several types of jobs since crossing a U.S. border from Mexico more than a decade ago. He said those who believe immigrants come here to steal jobs from U.S. citizens are often mistaken because his own experience has taught him that immigrants often merely agree to do jobs no one else is willing to do. The husband and father of three young children says he was working in a meat processing factory when Immigration Customs and Enforcement officers raided the building.
Along with nearly 100 other people, the man was taken into custody and not permitted to call his family for four days. Money was raised to help him post bond, and he was released from detention while he awaits his removal hearing in court. During the interim, however, he is not allowed to work in the U.S., which has left him concerned for the well-being of his family because he is their sole provider.
The man says he hopes the immigration detention situation does not end with his forced return to Mexico. He said his children are U.S. citizens, and he has lived, worked and paid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service for 14 years. Louisiana immigrants facing such problems may want to take similar steps as this man has done and secure legal representation before attending removal hearings.