Illegal Immigration Laws in The United States

Illegal immigration within the United States is a hotly contested and debated issue at the level of media, politics, economics, and national security. Current estimates place the number of immigrants illegally residing within the United States at nearly 12 million individuals. Furthering these illegal immigration statistics, the percentage estimates of the nationalities of these illegal immigrants place over half of these individuals coming from Mexico alone and another quarter of the total number of illegal immigrants entering the country from their native countries somewhere in Latin America. The proximity of Mexico and other Latin American countries to the United States makes sense of the exorbitant number of persons from these nations entering the United States to reunite with relatives, seek economic opportunities, or avoid political instability amongst other things. Entering the United States illegally is a federal crime, as well as assisting those attempting to enter the United States, however, by once in the country, illegal immigrants simply residing within the country are only in violation of civil laws. An experience illegal immigration attorney can help clients and their loved ones during any immigration or deportation process.

There are a number of circumstances for a person to enter into the category of being deemed an illegal immigrant or illegal alien.

The actions resulting in an individual being deemed an illegal immigrant include:

  • Entering without authorization
  • Staying with expired visas
  • Violating terms of visas

In furthering inspecting these factors, an estimated six to seven million individuals illegally immigrate to the United States via unauthorized border crossings, however, and almost equal number of illegal immigrants gained their status via overstaying previously legally acquired entry permission. In 2006, over 46% of illegal immigrants within the United States were persons overstaying their visas according to the US-VISIT immigrant tracking program. For these individuals overstaying their visas, an illegal immigration attorney can assist in reinstating your legal status within the United States.

For illegal immigrants caught by authorities, estimates place the number at over 300,000 waiting in detention facilities pending their deportation orders as of 2007. However, fewer than four percent of all illegal immigrants are actually detained and prosecuted for illegally entering the United States due to the costs prohibitive nature of doing so. Frequently, those caught illegally trying to enter the United States will be repatriated back to the country from which they tried to enter the United States.

For immigrants currently in the United States, a variety of factors can influence a deportation proceeding, including the presence of an illegal immigration attorney assisting your case. Avoiding permanent deportation may involve a complex legal strategy including voluntarily deporting oneself, under the Kennedy Jurisprudence ruling, which will allow that individual to potentially legally re-enter the United States once all legal issues involving their residency within the country are cleared. In addition, violations during the apprehension of illegal immigrants, including violations of the Posse Comitatus Act involving military personnel, may invalidate the detention of illegal immigrants and support their petitions for permanent or sustained temporary residency. In addition to this, some illegal immigrants are applicants for asylee status or refugee status under the 1990 Immigration Act and current Federal Budget, which accounts for 80,000 refugees entering the United States during the fiscal year of 2008.

For long-standing illegal immigrants that have built a solid standing lifestyle in the United States, there are also legal options to effectively cancel deportation orders known as cancellation of removal proceedings. Immigrants eligible for this protection, under the observance of the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services, must have been residents within the country for the past ten years, remain in virtually flawless legal standing, and exist in a situation where deportation would greatly reduce theirs and their dependents, spouses, or parent's quality of life. This method is frequently employed, with the assistance of an illegal immigration attorney, with high numbers of success.

Do you or your loved ones need advice on immigrating to the United States of America? Contact an illegal immigration attorney for help today.


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