Blog posts tagged in undocumented immigrant
When someone enters the United States, he or she either does so at an inspection point, like an airport or shipyard, or he or she enters without inspection, by slipping over a border. Entering without inspection (EWI) does make someone undocumented, but many people become confused about the true meaning of EWI and its potential immigration consequences.
Inadmissible vs. Removable
One of the most important misconceptions about EWI is what it means to one’s immigration status. If someone is lawfully present in the U.S. and commits a crime or overstays his or her visa, then he or she becomes removable. In other words, he or she is able to be removed from the country. However, someone who has never been lawfully present in the U.S. cannot technically be removable, because he or she is legally not present. He or she is deemed to be inadmissible instead — one of many grounds for inadmissibility listed in U.S. immigration law.
Whether an immigrant is documented or undocumented, he or she may one day receive what the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) calls a Notice To Appear (NTA). Receiving an NTA does not automatically mean that someone is going to be deported, but it does alert the recipient that there has been an alleged violation of immigration law. If you receive an NTA, it is imperative that you understand what it actually means, and why you may be on the proverbial hook. If you do not, it will harm your ability to put on a good defense.
The sole reason why you might receive an NTA is because the U.S. government believes you are removable (deportable) from the country, for whatever legal reason. This does not only apply to undocumented immigrants; if someone enters the country legally and then overstays, or has committed a crime, he or she may also become removable. He or she will also receive an NTA if his or her situation requires it. The “appear” in the Notice To Appear is an advisory that you are permitted to plead your case before a judge, and to articulate any special circumstances.
In August 2017, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Illinois TRUST Act, which is the strongest state-level bulwark against profiling by immigration officials yet passed into law as of this writing. It also codifies limited cooperation with U.S. immigration agencies as state policy, at least in terms of honoring detainers issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While this grants immigrants protection, it also drags the state into a potential fight with the U.S. Justice Department, which could have consequences.
The main crux of the Justice Department’s objections is that they believe the Act appears to “restrict the sending of information regarding immigration status.” While states have a reasonable degree of latitude in setting their own immigration rules, they must, of course, comply with federal law. However, the law regarding complying with ICE detainers is not cut and dried. While law enforcement agencies must comply with a warrant or with an in-person request to hand over a person in most circumstances, an ICE detainer is a mere request to law enforcement.
An increasing number of people are traveling now than what used to be the case years ago; more people are enjoying other cultures and the people within them. Sometimes, love matches will result. If this does happen to you, you may be able to bring your future spouse to live in the United States with you, assuming you are able to obtain the right visa. While some people marry while abroad and then apply for a family-based immigrant visa, others bring their fiance(e) to the U.S. using a K visa.
What is a K Visa?
A K visa is a specific type of non-immigrant (not immigrant) visa intended for use by people whose entire purpose of coming to the United States on this particular trip is to marry a U.S. citizen. Many couples confuse the K visa with permanent residency, which can cause issues—holders of green cards may travel to and from the U.S. with relative impunity, but this is not the case with any kind of nonimmigrant visa (generally, nonimmigrant visa holders are restricted either to a finite number of entries or to a very short validity period for the visa itself).
While no one wants to contemplate the idea, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) does make mistakes. After a certain period of time, these stop being mistakes, and become agency policy. Such has become the case—or very near the case—with ICE arrests of U.S. citizens.
While obviously, rescinding such a policy is the option most likely to restore agency credibility, in the meantime, it is imperative for both immigrants and U.S. citizens to be aware that this may conceivably be an option. It should never happen, but when it does, too often the arrestee may be caught off guard.
Recent Issues Place Deportation Detention in Focus