FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the COVID-era Title 42 restrictions have come to an end, migrants along the U.S. Borders are hoping to make it to the other side.
Many times escaping poverty, violence, and persecution.
That was the case for a Mexican family- who sought refuge in California.
The man I spoke with, who is going by Emmanuel to protect his identity, moved his family to the Central Valley in July of 2021.
He says they were fleeing violence in the state of Michoacán.
"It feels a little sad because it's been more than 40 years living there and all of a sudden we had to pick up and leave everything behind," says Emmanuel.
Leaving everything behind, he and his family came to the U.S. with little money and two outfits.
Upon arriving, they received their first immigration court date for February of 2023.
They are now waiting for their second one, which is scheduled for later this month.
"It's not people that are coming here and fall through the cracks and try to get away from the process. It's people that are trying to get put into the process so they can have an attorney and see a judge," says Joshua Longoria, a Central Valley immigration attorney.
He has helped about 500 people in the last five years.
He says clients spend $8,000 to $12,000 for representation during a hearing.
"The most important piece of evidence is the client's testimony. That is when a person looks into their eyes, looks for their non-verbal cues, and sees how they react and that is how the judge can decide if the person is being truthful or honest," says Joshua.
Attorney Longoria says in the past he has seen court cases in San Francisco have a higher rate of approval for migrants compared to Los Angeles.
It also depends on who is the judge taking the case and who's in office at the time.
As for the family you heard from, they have hopes of one day returning to their home country.