The United States is a nation of immigrants. Every year, people from around the world enter our nation with the intention of securing stable, well-paying work and making the United States their permanent home. To ensure that disreputable individuals do not enter the country and harm American citizens, federal and state-level laws exist. Other such laws exist to allow the government to take the necessary steps to remove individuals who commit criminal offenses while in the United States.
Of course, it is possible to face criminal charges and deportation even if you are innocent of your alleged offense. Even individuals who are not facing criminal charges must be cognizant of immigration laws, such as those governing work and family visas.
Federal Immigration Laws
Two of the most important federal immigration laws in the United States are the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Immigration and Reform Control Act.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 organized existing immigration laws into one act. Although it did not eliminate the immigration quotas in place, it did eliminate certain race-based restrictions found in United States immigration law. In 1965, the Act was amended. Today, it governs the employment and certification of foreign workers.
The Immigration and Reform Control Act of 1986 holds employers accountable for the immigration status of their employees. This act made it illegal for employers to knowingly recruit undocumented workers and requires employers to attest to their employees’ immigration status. It also legalized certain individuals’ immigration status, such as those who had entered the country prior to 1982 and were not guilty of criminal offenses and certain seasonal agricultural workers.
What Are my Rights?
As a non-citizen immigrant, you have numerous rights in the United States. These include the right to file a lawsuit, the right to receive emergency medical services from hospitals in the United States. Your children, regardless of their immigration status, have the right to a free public education.
You also have the right to a deportation hearing if you are found to be residing in the United States illegally. You have the right to work with an immigration defense lawyer to defend your case and remain in the United States.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Can Help You Navigate the Immigration Process
Coming to a new country and assimilating to its culture is rarely easy. Our team of Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. can help you work through any of these or other relevant legal issues you face. To schedule your initial consultation with us, fill out our online form or call us at 215-925-4435. Our office is located in Philadelphia and we proudly serve clients in Bala Cynwyd, Merion Station, Darby, Wynnewood, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, Narberth, Folcroft, Cheltenham, Clifton Heights, Lansdowne, Glenolden, Drexel Hill, Elkins Park, Havertown, Norwood, Ardmore, Holmes, Essington, Wyncote, Prospect Park, as well as Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County.