Self deportation as an option to legalize

The actions of the DREAM9 have actually made self-deportation cool (it was a terrible word when Mitt Romney used it).  As you might be aware, a group of Mexicans citizens who had one point or another been in the United States illegally simply left the US voluntarily (some were deported) and then showed up at the border claiming that the Government of Mexico was torturing and persecuting them.  The United States Government has agreed the law and order situation in Mexico has deteriorated to a point that a Mexican citizen can make a convincing argument that it is no longer safe to live there (luckily this argument can be made for many countries right now).  Hence, the United States laws mandate that these individuals be accepted into the country and given permanent residence.  Many experts believe that the Obama Administration is using this loophole to let undocumented aliens legalize (once you leave the country and if no bar on reentry was imposed prior to departure, it cannot be held against you) because Comprehensive Immigration Reform is unlikely to happen.


 

So who should self deport?  Obviously, each case is unique and you need to discuss this with your lawyer, but asylum is clearly an option right now.  Particularly if you were deported by ICE and are stuck outside the USA, there is nothing to lose by trying to apply for asylum in the US.  You do this by preparing documentary evidence of persecution and/or harassment and then presenting yourself at a land crossing in Mexico (this option also exists for those who already have visitor visas to the United States or can procure one and in that case they can apply for asylum after arriving in the country without the drama at the airport).

Another group that could pursue the asylum route is those undocumented immigrants who came after the cutoff date to be eligible for RPI status or do not have any acceptable documentation to prove their arrival or presence here.  Note that you maybe jailed for months/years but most likely you will be free to work legally, have a driver's license, and live a normal life in America. 


 

Are there any risks if I self deport to get asylum? Yet again, this is something that your lawyer will advise you because if the asylum petition is rejected, you maybe deported and barred from entry into the US.  If you engaged in document fraud or lied, you may also be prosecuted and jailed prior to deportation.  Most likely that may not happen because the Obama Administration is very lenient right now and is clearly hinting that this is an option that aliens may consider. 

The other risk that you maybe able to overcome by exploiting loopholes is the requirement that you prove your presence in the United States on a certain date and that you did not leave the country during this time. The thing is that for those of you who are already here, if you do most of the preparation before walking into Mexico and spend as brief time as possible, you maybe able to take advantage of the provision about brief and innocent absences.  In that case, you will still be able to argue that not only were you present on the cutoff date but also you maintained continuous presence.  The bottom line is that the overall risk of missing out on Immigration Reform is very low in case asylum petition is denied.