(WXYZ) - Human smuggling is big business and for some people that want to come to the United States, border patrol agents and the Detroit River are the only things standing in their way.
But getting caught living illegally in the states doesn't always mean a one way trip out of the country.
Friday afternoon in Detroit, Border Patrol agent Mark Hall gets ready for another night on the job.
Hall hits the streets patrolling Detroit's neighborhoods and desolate parks near the river. They've become popular spots for criminal activity.
A car sitting alone at Harris Park, grabs the agents' attention.
The driver has outstanding warrants for traffic violations--after a search of the car, he's allowed to leave.
Due to the close proximity to Canada, the Detroit River has become a popular passage way for illegal entry into the United States.
"There are a lot of nationalities allowed into Canada without visas, so it's easier for them to travel to Canada and sneak across the northern border," said Hall.
With freedom just a boat ride away, stopping illegal aliens from gaining entry into the country, has become a game of cat and mouse.
"My record is arresting the same three guys, three days in a row," said Hall.
In the law enforcement community its known as "catch and release." A well known secret--illegals are let go, because of budget constraints.
Often times, they are only deported after they get into trouble.
Jose Humberto Carcamo. was living in the U.S. Illegally. When he was drunk behind the wheel and crashed into Tricia Ann Taylor and her friend as they were leaving the Arts, Beats & Eats Festival in 2002.
Both of Taylor's leg's had to be amputated--Carcamo had a long history of driving violations. He wasn't deported back to El Salvador until after he served prison time for the accident.
In March of this year, ICE released more than 2,000 illegal immigrants because of budget cutbacks. They plan to monitor them through tethers until their court hearings.
In the meantime, agents like Hall remain on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, risking their lives to keep the country they love safe.