San Francisco, CA asked in Immigration Law, Federal Crimes and International Law for California

Q: I was detained at the Tijuana Border. What happens now. No prosecution.

The passenger I was with did not have a legit visa. I was detained and interigated. At the end I was let go with no fine or detention time. But what happens now? Will I have a mark on my record with All world border customs? Does this appear on background checks? Does it stay on my record permanently? What will appear? Human smuggler?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you were detained at the Tijuana Border but subsequently released without any charges or prosecution, it's important to understand the implications of this event on your record. Detentions related to immigration issues, especially when they do not result in formal charges or findings of fault, often don't follow the same public record-keeping practices as criminal arrests and convictions. However, the details of the detention might be recorded in the databases of border and immigration enforcement agencies.

This record may not necessarily be shared with all border customs around the world, but it could be accessible to U.S. and possibly Mexican border control and immigration agencies. The specifics of this encounter, including the reason for your detention, might be noted in their systems. This information, while not public, could be referenced in future border or immigration proceedings to inform decisions or scrutinize your crossings more closely.

Regarding background checks, it's unlikely that this detention, given there was no prosecution or formal charge, would appear in most types of background checks, such as those conducted for employment or housing. Background checks typically focus on criminal records, not detentions or interrogations without subsequent legal action. However, if the context involves security clearances or immigration-related background checks, this incident may be reviewed or considered. It's also worth noting that without a charge or conviction, terms like "human smuggler" would not be applicable to your record.

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