Each year, immigrants come to the United States to visit, to study, and to work. Foreign travelers and students are often welcomed by host countries and their citizens, and they spend money to get there and to remain. Often, tens of thousands of dollars are spent if they are pursuing advanced degrees.
Even undocumented aliens, who may avoid paying their fair share of taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), still contribute to American society by working and spending money. Some contend that undocumented workers are a drain on society, though it is these immigrants, with little support and knowledge of U.S. law, who are often the ones being taken advantage of. The plight in many of these immigrant stories is captured in the recent film about the life of Latino human rights leader, Cesar Chavez.
Thanks in part to activists like Chavez, immigrants living in the United States often have similar rights as U.S. born citizens, regardless of their visa status or alien classification. These rights do carry with them duties to the United States’ government as well, however. Though there are far too many to list in a brief posting, it is helpful for immigrants in this country to understand a number of their basic legal rights and duties.