4 Paths to Legal Status for Undocumented Immigrants

Traditionally, it has always been possible for the undocumented spouse and his or her own dependent children to obtain permanent resident status by marrying that U.S. citizen or permanent resident. However, the reality is that the immigration process is not always that simple. Many issues can become traps for spouses and/or stepchildren of U.S. citizens and permanent residents when considering applying for legal resident status. If the foreign spouse and the children or stepchildren entered the United States without inspection and remained in the United States, they must leave the country and complete their immigration process through U.S. consulates abroad to obtain the immigrant visa (green card). Most importantly, the immigrant spouse and/or children over the age of 18 who have resided illegally in the United States for at least 180 days (6 months) may be automatically excluded from re-entry into the United States for 3 to 10 years once they have left the United States. Institute of Migration Policy. (2014). Up to 3.7 million unauthorized immigrants could be exempted from deportation under the expected new deferred program.

Press release. Available: migrationpolicy.org/news/mpi-many-37-million-unauthorized-immigrants-could-get-relief-deportation-under-anticipated-new [September 2015]. McConnell, E.D. (2013). Who has problems with housing affordability?: Differences in the burden of housing costs by race, birth and legal status. Race and Social Problems, 5(3), 173-190. Several sensible laws that pave the way for citizenship for many of these groups are supported by both parties in Congress, but Congress has failed to pass such legislation for decades. It`s high time Congress provided the certainty that undocumented immigrants need when they do important work, go to school, support their families, and help rebuild the U.S.

economy. FWD.us estimates that 9.3 million undocumented immigrants belong to groups that U.S. lawmakers have proposed as eligible to acquire U.S. citizenship. This includes key workers (5.2 million); people who have lived in the United States for ten years or more (6.7 million); Parents of minor children with U.S. citizenship (3.0 million); spouses of U.S. citizens (1.7 million); Dreamers who came to the United States as children (2.0 million); agricultural workers (650,000); persons with temporary protected status (640,000); asylum seekers awaiting a decision (640,000); and persons awaiting an adjustment or change of status (410,000). Wong, T., and Valdivia, C. (2014). In their own words: A national survey of undocumented millennials. Washington, DC: United we dream.

Available: unitedwedream.org/words-nationwide-survey-undocumented-millennials/ [September 2015]. Although undocumented people in the United States are not explicitly identified in Census Bureau surveys, researchers have developed methods to identify likely undocumented immigrants in these datasets. This analysis uses such a method applied to cps.23 data for more undocumented immigration and would reward illegal behavior (Lopez et al., 2013, p. 3). LPR status also paves the way for citizenship and political integration. While LPRs cannot participate in elections where voters must be U.S. citizens (for example, they cannot participate in federal or state elections), some jurisdictions in the country allow LPRs to participate in municipal elections. You can`t run for political office, but you can participate in undocumented political immigrants, especially well-educated DREAMers who may have an employer willing to sponsor them for a green card in various situations. Before applying for DREAMer`s potential work visa, the employer may need to go through a process called work certification or PERM. But even after these processes are completed, the process still requires the immigrant to return to their country of origin because of their entry or illegal status of origin. The immediate parent must have had legal entry into the United States for the undocumented person to apply for a U.S. green card.

The non-Indigenous immediate relative can then adjust their permanent resident status only if they have entered the U.S. with valid documents and have made personal contact with a U.S. immigration officer and that official has confirmed the person`s entry into the United States. After becoming permanent residents, individuals can eventually apply for citizenship. Legal status can also restrict access to higher education, which has a direct impact on the future of immigrants. Although all children of United Bean, F.D., Leach, M.A., Brown, S.K., Bachmeier, J.D., and Hipp, J.R. (2011). The Educational Heritage of Undocumented Migration: Comparisons between groups of American immigrants on how parental status affects their offspring.

International Migration Review, 45, 348-385. To date, about 10.7 million undocumented migrants live in the United States. A new NewsNation poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans surveyed support this path to citizenship. The LIFE Act allows undocumented immigrants to complete their green card process in the United States if an immigration application has been filed on their behalf or on behalf of their parents by April 30, 2001. If you suffer persecution or even fear persecution because of your religion, race, political opinions, nationality, or membership in a social group, you can seek the help of our experienced Greenville immigration attorneys to seek asylum. There is usually an interview to determine the validity of your case. The legal services of an immigration lawyer can help you get through this interview so that you can qualify for asylum. Differences in productivity or efficiency – including the fact that undocumented workers have limited access to certain types of jobs and activities considered more productive in the economic sense of the term.34 In addition, the 774,000 undocumented miners are exposed to particular short- and long-term risks (Passel et al., 2014). During their childhood and adolescence, they usually become aware of this when parents are undocumented, their U.S.-born children often experience several negative effects, which in turn affect second-generation starter models (Yoshikawa, 2011). These negative effects include increased parental vulnerability and family destabilization (Thronson, 2008), increased risk of living in a lone-parent household, and loss of income (Dreby, 2015; Landale et al., 2011).

As a result, mixed-status families are also more likely to be impoverished than other families (Fix and Zimmerman, 2001). In addition, the undocumented status of parents Armenta, A. (2012). From sheriff`s deputies to immigration officers, checking immigration status at a Tennessee jail. Law and Politics, 34(2), 191-210. In addition, legal status has intergenerational implications. For example, the educational attainment levels of children whose parents were eventually legalized were as high as those whose parents entered the country legally, suggesting that while the burden of undocumented parental status on children (including children born in the United States) is considerable and debilitating, it largely disappears when legalization occurs (Bean et al., 2015). Given the impact of legal status on other family members, it is important that future research explore its implications in family and community contexts. Most undocumented immigrants (62 percent) are present in the U.S. after passing a visa, even though about 38 percent had crossed the northern or southern border illegally. No matter how you arrived in the United States and if you had a visa, the results are the same: illegal stay in the country is a reason for deportation with an entry ban. Viladich, A.

(2012). Beyond Social Reform: Reorienting the Right of Undocumented Immigrants to Health Care in the United States. Social Sciences and Medicine, 74(6), 822-829. The best way for illegal immigrants to prevent deportation is to obtain long-term legal status. This can lead to migrants obtaining permanent residency and becoming green card holders and eventually U.S. citizenship. Mixed-status families offer a unique opportunity to assess the impact of legal status on immigrant integration patterns in the short and long term and to grasp the impact of legal status beyond individuals and the second generation. Children or spouses who are U.S. citizens or RPLs in these families often mediate between social institutions and their unauthorized parents: translating documents, escorting parents to government positions, interpreting communications, and generally assisting in daily life (Orellana et al., 2003; Menjívar, 2000).

In this way, U.S. citizens and LPR children and spouses in immigrant families play the role of “brokers” by connecting undocumented family members to various key institutions in society and establishing a link for eventual integration. Immigrant parents of children born in the United States may entrust responsibility and decision-making to these children because children are linguistically and culturally capable of interacting with institutions, organizations, and communities (Valenzuela, 1999). Marriage to a U.S. citizen is the most common way for an immigrant to obtain legal status, whether it is a legal immigrant who has exceeded their reception or an immigrant who has entered illegally and escaped border protection. This is because a spouse is considered the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen who can easily get a green card. Other categories may face more complicated procedures.

The impact of legal status on the integration of immigrants resonates beyond those with that status, with consequences beyond the immigrant generation. These effects are particularly felt in mixed-status families, where some members are undocumented and others are undocumented (Dreby, 2012; Enriquez, 2015; Rodriguez and Hagan, 2004; Suárez-Orozco et al., 2011; Yoshikawa, 2011).