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What is in the US Immigration Law?

Ava Sanghvia
What is in the US Immigration Law?

Learn about the rules and regulations of the US immigration law stated by the federal government and how they work. 


The country’s federal government establishes a few rules and regulations to determine who can enter the country and for how long. They also decide the naturalization process for the people who wish to become citizens of the country. This set of rules and regulations are known as Immigration laws


According to the US Constitution, Congress has the exclusive right to administer the immigration law. If any foreign nationals enter the country without permission and proper documentation, overstay, or lose their legal status, US immigration law deals with every situation. It also decides the process of detention and removal proceedings that should take place. 


There are several ways people from foreign countries can enter US land legally with proper documentation. People who visit for a temporary period can obtain non-immigrant visas like tourist visas or student visas. At the same time, people who want to stay in the country for a longer time, for job purposes, can apply for immigrant visas. 


Three agencies under the Department of Homeland Security administer and enforce immigration laws


  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)- This agency investigates the people who break the immigration law by entering illegally and prosecutes the offender.
  • US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)- It takes care of all the applications for legal immigration that the country receives.
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP)- This agency is responsible for keeping all the country’s borders secure. 


Apart from this, the US immigration law runs a program called the visa waiver program. Specifically, economically and politically stable countries can visit the USA for ninety days without a visa. Some of these countries are- Australia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan etcetera, among thirty-seven countries. 


Visit getlegal.com to learn more about the immigration laws of the US. 


What are the Legal Paths to Obtain Citizenship of the US?


Obtaining citizenship in the USA comes with monumental rights, benefits, and privileges. Most people born on the soil of the USA automatically become citizens of the country. Still, there are several legal ways by which a person from a foreign country can become a citizen of the USA. All of this is taken care of by the immigration law agencies of the US. 


A maximum number of people who immigrate to the US apply for naturalization to obtain citizenship. Moreover, there are four ways to get citizenship in the United States. 



  • Through Birth



The law of the United States of America states that every person born on the soil of the country and the territories of the USA receives citizenship automatically. It is considered the most important way of becoming a United States citizen. However, children whose parents work as foreign diplomats have an exemption on this. 



  • Through Acquisition



Another way for a child to obtain US citizenship even if they were not born on the soil of the United States is through acquisition. However, immigration law has provided a few conditions under which only the child will obtain citizenship in the USA. The three conditions under which the child can obtain citizenship through acquisition can obtain citizenship through the acquisition.


Suppose both parents were citizens of the USA when the child was born. Moreover, they were married, and one or both of them lived in the states during or before birth. The child gets the citizenship of the United States under this circumstance.


In case either of the parents was a citizen of the United States when the child was born. Even if they were married to a person living in the states for five or more years before the birth, the child would automatically be considered a citizen of the United States. 


If one parent is a citizen of the USA and the other has lived for around ten years in the states at birth, the child will become a citizen of the USA. The child will be a citizen by default.


  • Through Derivation


If the child under eighteen years of age lives with the parents and decides to go with naturalization, the child might derive US citizenship. However, a child cannot get citizenship through step-parent. Moreover, a child going through naturalization does not have to be present physically. However, any child under the age of eighteen living with their parents automatically acquires citizenship of the USA for the following reasons. 


  • One of the parents should be a citizen of the United States.
  • The child must live in the USA, and the legal custodial parent must be a citizen of the United States or territories.
  • The child must possess a permanent resident status with a US legal green cardholder. 



  • Through Naturalization



Naturalization means that the person who has nothing to do with the United States becomes a legal citizen of the US by this process. For all foreign country people, naturalization is the most common process to gain citizenship in the United States. The candidate applying for the process must be eligible for naturalization as per the USA’s guidelines of the immigration law of the USA.


The three most common eligibility that every candidate over the age of eighteen must fall into any one of them are-


  • Should be a permanent resident for at least five years.
  • For over three years, one should live as a permanent resident in a marital union with a US citizen. 
  • Should qualify for providing services in the US Armed Forces.


Visit to learn more about the process involved in immigration as per the immigration laws of the US. 


What Actions are Taken by the Immigration Law Agencies with Illegal Immigrants?


Every illegal immigrant lives with a fear of what will happen to them when the immigration law agency catches them without the proper documentation. Most of them fear that the officials will deport them to their home country. And they might not get a chance to bid farewell to their family. 


In contrast to this, the illegal immigrants living without the proper documentation have certain rights if they get arrested by the ICE- Immigration, and Customs Enforcement agency. 


First of all, the ICE officials do not need to make an arrest. In most cases, other law enforcement agencies like local or state police can make a criminal arrest for a minor violation of any rules or regulations. Secondly, any law agency, including the ICE, cannot arrest at anyone’s home without a proper warrant signed by the judge. 


If any illegal immigrant gets arrested by the local law enforcement, they will have to contact the ICE. 


According to the immigration laws of the USA, the authorities have to hold immigrants without a document for 48 hours before proceeding with detaining them. The rights of the illegal immigrants as per the US immigration laws are-


  • Every illegal immigrant without proper documents has the right to appear for a hearing before an immigration judge for review. Usually, the federal court holds all the hearings of this department.
  • Every person who has entered the US lands without proper permission has the option to hire a lawyer to represent themself. However, the US government will not endure any of the expenses to provide them with a lawyer.
  • Every undocumented immigrant will receive a notice of reasonable charges along with hearing time and place.
  • They will get the opportunity to examine the evidence and witness of the government.
  • If the illegal immigrant does not speak English, they will get a proper interpretation of the matter.
  • The government will not deport them until the grounds for deportation are out forth with clear and convincing proof. 


Some Myths and Facts Revolving Around the Immigration Laws and Illegal Immigrants.


  • Myth 1



American Workers do not get jobs due to immigrants.


Fact- According to most economics experts, the relationship between immigrants and US employment states that the immigrants create more jobs than they fill. Immigrants form new businesses and raise productivity. Therefore, as per the studies, immigrants do not have any adverse effect on the earnings or employment of native Americans.



  • Myth 2



Immigrants use up all the Social Services of the USA.


Fact- as per the urban Institute, immigrants generate way more taxes than they cost in services. Even though they do not get the federal welfare benefits, they pay more taxes substantially every year. 


To Conclude


Entering the country without the proper permission and documents required as per the immigration law of the USA is considered a federal crime. However, there are many reasons why someone would leave their home country and migrate to a new country. Most of the illegal immigrant cases happen due to the economic or political crisis in their own country. 


However, the court and the immigration agencies have all rights to take legal actions for trespassing. The court must prove all the rights and maintain all the rules and regulations. 


Moreover, people who wish to migrate should do it with proper documentation, follow protocol and legalities. If you have any issues related to immigration, it’s good to consult an attorney. An attorney who knows the ins and outs of immigration law can help you solve your problem.


Ava Sanghvia
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