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Immigrant Rights in the US

Immigrant Rights

No one knows the US immigration system better than an immigrant. Every day, immigrants across the US navigate its complexities in order to make a life for themselves and their families. Despite this, there is a lot of misinformation and confusion about immigration rights in the US.

This blog post will provide an overview of some of the most important aspects of immigrant rights in the US. It will also dispel some common myths about immigration law, immigrant rights and policy. So, if you’re interested in learning more about what immigrants can and cannot do in the United States, keep reading!

What Is an Immigrant?

An Immigrant is someone who has permanently left their country of origin to move to a different nation.

The term “immigrant” sometimes refers exclusively to people who are seeking asylum, refugee status, or certain visa statuses. However, this term can also refer more broadly to both documented and undocumented immigrants; the latter may be considered economic migrants (i.e., they migrate for reasons other than war or persecution).

The factors that cause people to immigrate vary by destination country as well as by region of origin; for example, immigration decisions tend to favor those coming from nations with low income per capita during periods of increasing automation in wealthy nations (though some wealthy nations like Canada impose stricter restrictions on immigration).

The History of Immigrant Rights in the US

immigrant rights

When most people think about the history of immigrant rights in the United States, they probably imagine Ellis Island and the arduous process of becoming a legal resident. However, the story of immigrant rights in America is actually much older and more complex than that. This post will explore some of the key moments in the struggle for immigrants’ rights, from the early days of colonization to the present day.

More than 55 million people from every continent have arrived in the United States since its founding. In reality, with the exception of Native Americans, everyone currently residing in the United States is either a migrant or descended from immigrants who came here of their own free will. However, every wave of immigration has been met with fear and hatred, especially during economic downturns, political instability, or war:

  • Mobs enraged at Irish Catholic immigrants burned down a convent in Boston and rioted in Philadelphia during the 1840s recession.
  • To keep out all people of Chinese origin, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, one of our nation’s first immigration laws.
  • Thousands of foreigners suspected of political radicalism were arrested and tortured during the Red Scare in the 1920s. Many were deported without a trial.
  • From 1942 until the end of World War II in 1945, 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced from their homes and other property and interned in camps. Many Jews fleeing Nazi Germany were prohibited under rules passed in the 1920s during the same time period as many Japanese Americans.
  • In the 1950s, a government program persecuted Mexicans exclusively.

The present state is no different from that of the previous years. A rabid anti-immigrant movement has been attempting to limit the rights of many people living in the United States, aided by anti-immigrant extremists and based largely on misconceptions about immigration’s economic benefits.

What Immigrants Rights Do They Have in the US?

The United States Supreme Court has decided that the US Constitution guarantees everyone the same rights inside US borders. On the other hand, the Supreme Court also said that the federal government has the right and power to regulate immigration. That means, the federal government has the power to let you inside of its borders as an immigrant. Once you are in, you are entitled to many of the rights on the Bill of Rights.

Since immigrants do not have the right to enter the US, many of them face deportation when they are caught. The INS (Immigration and Neutralization Service) had the ability to deport any suspected immigrants in the past. In 1903, it is decided that no immigrant can be deported without an official hearing. Since then, there are serious progress in immigrant rights. Here are some of them:

  • Immigrants are entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge and review, in most cases, by a federal court.
  • Immigrants have the right to be represented by a lawyer. On the other hand, all expenses belong to the immigrant.
  • Immigrants have the right to have a reasonable notice of charges, and of a hearing’s time and place.
  • Immigrants have the right to have a reasonable opportunity to examine the evidence and the government’s witnesses.
  • Immigrants are entitled to a competent interpretation for non-English speaking immigrants.
  • And also immigrants have the right to see or hear a clear and convincing proof that the government’s grounds for deportation are valid.
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