The harsh enforcement policies have caused an overwhelming amount of stress for undocumented immigrants like Jose Castillo.
The Salvadorian-native lived in the US for 16 years, but recently fled to Canada.
Castillo journeyed from Maryland to Buffalo, New York, to hide from ICE in a church's basement.
After staying there for almost three weeks, Castillo and his family decided to seek political asylum up north. "It's 16 years — since 2001 — that we're leaving behind," Castillo told Univision News, who followed the family throughout their journey.
Although his children are American citizens, and his wife, Maria Blanco, is legally allowed to work in the US, they all decided to move to Canada together.
"I must do it, too," Blanco said. "Not just for my kids but for myself as well." The Canadian government gave the family an appointment to come to the border. The family feared rejection or worse, deportation to El Salvador.
“If tomorrow they let us cross, that’s when my fear will end,” Castillo said. “It will all end.”
Blanco packed all of family’s belongings and took her children to meet her husband at the border. “We’re hoping for the best, that they give us a chance,” Blanco said.
After a long night, in which Castillo was interrogated by Canadian authorities, the undocumented immigrant was finally given an answer.
“What did [the Canadian authorities] say?”
Univision News asked Castillo after his appointment.
“Welcome to Canada,” Castillo responded in tears.
Although the Castillo family wasn't granted immediate asylum, they were allowed to enter Canada. They will have to go through an entire process but Castillo believes the interrogation was the most difficult part.
Now, the family has several weeks to collect the necessary documents needed for their next appointment scheduled for May.
“Do you finally feel free?” Univision News asked the Salvadorian man.