Immigration Amnesty

For many years, people from Mexico and other foreign countries have illegally crossed the borders into the United States seeking a safer and more financially secure life. Unfortunately, this illegal crossing of American borders requires the individual and his or her family to live a lie in order to gain American employment or receive any of the citizenship benefits afforded to natural-born Americans. Although these individuals are simply seeking the same opportunities as their legal counterparts, it is too late once they have lived illegally in the country. If discovered, the chances are good that deportation will be swift to follow. Once this occurs, all hopes for a better future are gone. However, the U.S. government has recently developed a means for amnesty for illegal immigrants, in an effort to quell the numbers of illegal immigrants.

Amnesty simply means the government forgives a person for entering the country illegally. Thus, amnesty leaves the door open for the illegal immigrant to seek legal permanent residency and possibly naturalization as a citizen in the future. However, specific guidelines must be met before the government can grant amnesty:

  • Come forward immediately to receive probationary legal status
  • If entry is before January 1, 2007, a renewable Z-visa is issued
  • The head of the house must return to the country of origin and pay a $5,000 fine
  • Individuals brought to America as minors, and still under 30 years of age, can get a green card after 3 years
  • Agricultural workers establishing 3 years or 150 hours of labor can apply for a green card
  • Z-visas cannot be converted to green cards until border security and workplace enforcement is in place.
  • Z-visas will only be processed after the backlog is cleared

Unfortunately, the criteria for obtaining amnesty and gaining status as a legal immigrant or an American citizen can be a long and complicated process. Hard working aliens will often wait many years before achieving naturalization and all the rights of citizenship attached.

Obviously, it is preferable to enter the country legally and then begin the process. But starting the process allows aliens to avoid the prospect of future deportation. Only individuals participating in criminal or illegal activities can be positive of being unceremoniously booted out of the country.

Anyone who has entered the United States illegally before January 1, 2007 has some recourse and a real hope of remaining in America. Plus, well-educated individuals have the knowledge and help needed to forge through legal documents and procedures.

If you are considering immigration the United States, you should consult with a qualified immigration lawyer.

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