While the US government grapples with immigration reform and some states ramp up their anti-immigration laws, crossing the border from Mexico into the United States has become an extensive process. However, the added security has created an unexpected result. According to the New York Times, people crossing the border from the US into Mexico also face similar scrutiny.
Many states have passed laws designed to discourage illegal immigrants to enter their territory and put down roots, but the resulting out-bound checks has some officials worried that some undocumented residents will not want to leave for fear of being arrested.
According to the Times, this added security has been instated to help reduce the flow of guns and drug money surging into Mexico. In the search for contraband, many people who did not have permission to be in the US are found. Some with clean records are let go, while others are fingerprinted, photographed and entered into a government database. As a result, they will be punished more harshly if caught in the US again.
Since 2010, all US citizens are required to present a valid passport when traveling into the interior of Mexico, past the designated border zones that stretch between 12 and 18 miles into the country. To re-enter the country, a passport but be presented.