These foreign nationals get charged with visa fraud because despite having overstayed their visas before, they managed to obtain a new visitor visa from U.S. consulates in their countries.
Perhaps one of the most dramatic re-entry cases in recent weeks was the Boca Raton episode Feb. 21.
It was about 9 a.m. on that day that a federal government aircraft sighted an inbound cigarette boat seven miles east of the Boynton Beach inlet.
As the boat made landfall just south of Camino Real Boulevard in Boca Raton, the aircraft crew saw more than a dozen people jump out of the vessel and board two waiting vehicles.
One of the vehicles crashed nearby as it tried to get away from the landing site. The driver and his passengers scrambled out of the vehicle and ran away, according to a criminal complaint.
The driver and several of the passengers were later arrested after a dramatic chase. The driver and one of the passengers broke into a condominium building and hid in an apartment.
In the end, federal agents arrested 11 undocumented foreign nationals. Four of the migrants had been previously deported, according to the complaint written by an agent belonging to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a unit of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Subsequently, the driver told HSI agents that he has transported undocumented immigrants to Boston after they land in South Florida, earning $2,000 per trip.
The complaint did not identify the four previously deported migrants, but The Palm Beach Post on Feb. 27 identified two of them: Guillermo Fernández of the Dominican Republic and Alvin Gillespe of Jamaica.
Fernandez was deported in 2011 after being convicted of resisting arrest and possession of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, according to court records.
Gillespe was deported in 1999 after being convicted of unlawful use of a weapon and possession of cocaine. He returned in 2007 and was deported again in 2011 after being convicted of cocaine possession.
In another case, agents belonging to HSI’s Violent Gang Task Force located Denis Díaz Montes in Miami in late February.
After checking his background, agents learned that the Honduran had been deported in 2005, according to a Border Patrol criminal complaint.
The complaint does not say when or how Díaz returned to the United States.
But officials familiar with re-entry cases say that in general previously deported foreign nationals encountered in homes or businesses have re-entered illegally via the Mexican border, while those found near the coast have arrived on smugglers’ boats.
One of the most recent cases unfolded in the Atlantic Ocean east of the South Florida coast.
On April 3 at 4:15 p.m., a Customs and Border Protection Marine Patrol aircraft sighted a vessel traveling westbound from the Bahamas toward South Florida. Later a CBP boat intercepted the vessel and detained its five occupants.
The boat captain turned out to be a U.S. citizen and one of the passengers claimed U.S. citizenship. But three other passengers were foreign nationals, two from Jamaica and one from Guyana. The Jamaicans had been previously deported, one in 2008 and the other in 2012.