Know Your Rights - Understanding Immigration Law in the United States

November 05, 2020

Action Immigration

America is a nation of immigrants. Nearly 45 million Americans are foreign-born, and tens of millions more are the children of immigrants. 

The United States has a complicated approach to immigration. There are four separate categories of documented immigration, and each has dozens of subcategories and regulations. 

But you can understand the basics of immigration law in a few minutes. Here is a quick guide. 

The Four Types of Documented Immigration

The first type is family reunification. The spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens are allowed to immigrate. A U.S. citizen must petition for their family members through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, but these applications are simple. 

They can also apply for the siblings and adult children to immigrate. These applications are more complicated because these family members must be financially independent. 

The second type is employment-based immigration. You can receive a temporary work visa if your employer submits an application for you.

There are more than 20 types of temporary work visas, covering a wide range of industries. They each have their own application, and they vary in the amount of time you can stay within the United States. 

You can also apply for permanent employment-based immigration. This is capped at 140,000 admissions per year, and you must submit a thorough application. 

The third is refugees and asylees. You can apply if you face discrimination in your home country. Refugees are capped, but asylees are not. 

The fourth is computer-generated lotteries. 55,000 visas are granted to people from countries that have sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants in the last five years. You must have a high school education and a job that requires two years of training. 

Immigration Law and Your Rights

Whatever your documented status is, you have rights within the United States.

You have the right to apply for immigration through Immigration Services. You can pursue any path you choose. 

If an ICE or Customs agent comes to your home, you have the right to remain silent. You have the right not to open your door. 

If an ICE or Customs agent approaches you in public, you have the right to ask if you are being detained. If you are not, you are free to leave. 

At any point during your interactions with law enforcement, you have the right to legal counsel. If you are put in jail, you have the right to apply for bail. 

Immigration bonds allow you to leave prison. A judge in immigration court sets your bond, then a legal U.S. citizen pays the bond to the Department of Homeland Security. You are then released, though you have to attend regular meetings and stay within the bounds of the law. 

Get the Resources You Need

America is a tapestry of cultures and peoples. But immigration law is quite complicated. Know the basics. 

There are four different categories of documented immigration. Each has its own system of applications, but all applications go through Immigration Services. You have the right to apply for immigration and to have legal counsel if you are detained. 

Get the resources you need to remain within the United States. Action Immigration Bonds has nearly 50 years of experience in providing immigration bonds. Contact us for a free consultation, or call us at 877-792-2979. 

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