If or when the caravan of central Americans makes it to the United State’s southern border, it could impact Nevada and other states.
Once a month, immigration attorney Kathia Pereira does pro-bono work at the non-profit ‘Casa del Inmigrante.’
“They are fearful all of these situations do not help all of the immigrants already in the United States,” Pereira said.
Situations like the central American caravan heading north, putting the spotlight on immigration. Pereira says even if migrants show up at ports of entry and make their case for asylum, there’s no guarantee they’ll be allowed to stay. In fact, she says it’s uncommon.
“If somebody is not allowed to be placed in deportation proceedings, then the person will be detained until they are removed from the United States.”
Pereira says detention centers located along the southern border are at capacity and newcomers will most likely be held in other states, including Nevada.
That was the case over the summer when immigrant families were being separated.
In June, 8 News Now spoke to an attorney at the UNLV Immigration Clinic who told us they were getting phone calls from undocumented parents being held at the Henderson jail. The federal agency, ICE, shares a facility with the city.
“They have called and said that more than anything they just wanted help finding their children,” said attorney Laura Barrera, UNLV Immigration Clinic.
People held in immigration custody in southern Nevada who are placed on deportation proceedings will have to go before a local immigration judge and Pereira says that can take a few months or a few years.
Undocumented immigrants going through the court system are not entitled to legal representation unless they can pay out of pocket for an attorney.