Posts Tagged ‘ illegal immigrants in america ’

The Rights of Illegal Immigrants

Posted on: August 12, 2013 by in immigration
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bigstock-Close-up-of-male-hands-with-pe-46137757The Constitution of the United States specifically states that all persons should be treated fairly under the law. It uses the language of “person” to describe those to whom the rights in the Constitution apply, and does not differentiate between U.S. citizen and illegal immigrant when it comes to the legal protections enjoyed by all. This means that illegal immigrants, although technically in violation of immigration laws, still enjoy the right to free speech, protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right against self incrimination, and certain other rights.

There are some rights that are not granted to illegal immigrants, like the right to vote and the right to possess a firearm, but these rights have not just been withheld from illegal immigrants, they are even withheld from U.S. citizens who are convicted felons. So, although they do not technically enjoy all rights granted under the Constitution, the Constitution ensures that anyone within the borders of the United States be granted fair and equal protection under the law against the loss of life, liberty, or property without due process.

Deportation Hearings

While illegal immigrants enjoy a right to due process under the law, many are surprised to learn that illegal immigrants do not enjoy the right to legal counsel in immigration removal hearings (deportation hearings). This is because the Supreme Court has held that removal hearings are administrative hearings, not criminal trials, and, therefore, do not rise to a level that would require court appointed counsel. If an illegal immigrant is ever arrested for a criminal offense, then that person may still invoke his or her right to counsel and be provided counsel at no cost. In immigration hearings, the immigrant is free to secure his or her own legal counsel, but does not get the right to have counsel provided at the government’s expense.

Although the right to represent oneself exists, it is rarely advised that the right be exercised. Anyone, whether citizen or illegal immigrant, who ever has to face criminal, civil, or immigration court, should hire an attorney to handle representation. Ensuring that competent legal counsel is handling a case is the best way for people to make sure that their rights remain protected and that they have all the information they need to make the best and most informed decisions regarding their defense.

Very Specific Rights and Privileges

Illegal immigrants who are curious about the rest of the rights that they are or are not entitled to should contact experienced immigration counsel, because even illegal immigrants have the right to ask questions about the law from those who presumably know it best. In many cases, simply explaining one’s case to an attorney can reveal a variety of legal options that the illegal immigrant may not have known existed. If they are worried about showing up in an attorney’s office and declaring their legal status, most immigration attorneys will offer general advice by phone or email. If the question is a quick one, then many immigration attorneys will even offer their general advice at no charge.

Filing for the EB5 as an Illegal Immigrant

Posted on: July 22, 2013 by in EB-5
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bigstock-Close-up-of-male-hands-with-pe-46137757EB5 Basics

The EB5 investment program is designed to encourage foreign investors to invest substantial amounts of capital into the U.S. economy. In order to attract investors, the government offers anyone who invests the minimum required amount the chance to apply for a special investor visa. If granted, the EB5 visa would allow the investor to live and work in the U.S. on a long term basis, and would even allow the investor’s spouse and dependant children to qualify for visas of their own.

Illegal Immigrant Status

Being an undocumented immigrant in the United States is a serious offense. Not only can it result in deportation to the person’s country of origin, so too can it prevent a person from being able to take advantage of many of the legal routes to citizenship, like the EB5 investment program. Additionally, a person who is found to have remained in the U.S. illegally for more than six months to a year could be barred from entering the U.S. for a period of  three to 10 years.

Waivers are Possible, Not Guaranteed

Even a person who has already spent a substantial amount of time living in the U.S. illegally can be allowed to remain or return to the U.S. if a waiver of inadmissibility is approved. The waiver would allow a person declared as “inadmissible” the chance to enter, and in some cases remain, in the U.S. despite the inadmissibility.

There are several rules and exceptions to who may qualify for a waiver to enter the country. Every person’s situation will be different, which is why a credentialed immigration attorney should be consulted to determine what kind of inadmissibility waiver an immigrant may qualify for.

What About Applying from Outside the U.S.

In order to avoid being discovered as having lived in the U.S. illegally, some illegal immigrants who want EB5 status will try to leave the country in order to apply for an EB5 visa through an American consulate on foreign soil. Illegal immigrants are advised against this because it is not allowed and can be an expensive mistake if tried and failed.

Further, American consulates in other countries have available to them the same resources as those available in the U.S. to investigate the background of an EB5 applicant – if it is discovered that the immigrant was at one time in the United States illegally, the person can still be barred from U.S. entry for a period between three to 10 years.

Constantly Evolving Policy

Immigration policy in the U.S. is constantly changing. For the best chance at forging a path to legal U.S. residency, illegal residents and prospective immigrants outside of the country are urged to partner with an experienced immigration attorney. An attorney will be able to evaluate a person’s individual case to determine his or her best legal options for coming to, returning to, or staying in the U.S., and guide the person through the necessary application processes in order to get started.