Immigration law is arguably one of the most complex areas of law not only in the United States, but in the world. It regulates the entry and settlement of foreign nationals into a country, and the legal aspects of this issue have evolved over time, constantly shaped by political, social, and economic factors.
Legal issues in immigration are multifarious. They include visa overstay, border patrol, deportation, workplace discrimination, and many more. Immigrants who come into the United States do so either through family-based immigration or employment-based immigration. Family-based immigration is one driven by the family relationship between a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident and a foreign national. Employment-based immigration, on the other hand, while also based on a relationship, has more to do with the applicant’s professional qualifications, their ability to work and contribute, and their potential impact on the economy.
Immigration law is divided into two categories: federal and state laws. The Constitution gives the federal government authority over immigration and naturalization, so much of the legal aspects of immigration are federal laws. However, states also have the right to regulate certain aspects of immigration as long as they do not conflict with federal law.
The legal implications of immigration law on immigrants are far-reaching. It impacts their ability to live and work safely and without fear of being removed from the country. More importantly, immigration law affects the fundamental human rights of immigrants. Advocates argue that immigrants have the right to life, liberty, and protection against discrimination.
Undocumented immigrants, i.e. those who enter into a country illegally, are often at the highest risk of legal issues because they are not legally authorized to be in the country. A common legal issue that arises for undocumented immigrants is deportation. Deportation is the legal process of formally removing an immigrant from a foreign country. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the agency responsible for starting deportation proceedings against undocumented immigrants. It is essential to note that only immigration judges can order deportation, and it is not automatic.
One major legal issue immigrants face is the uncertainty of their future safety in the country. The constant threat of deportation makes it difficult for them to access basic human rights, obtain employment, and achieve educational goals. The legal barriers in the way of immigrants are made worse by the recent changes in immigration law by the Trump administration, which has made it harder for immigrants to obtain legal status and easier to deport individuals.
In conclusion, immigration law is a complicated area of law that includes federal and state laws governing the entry, settlement, and deportation of foreign nationals. The legal aspects of immigration affect the fundamental human rights of immigrants and are subject to change based on political, social, and economic changes. The uncertainty in the future safety of immigrants in the country due to the legal issues they face calls for comprehensive immigration reform that aims to strike a balance between preserving human rights and protecting the country’s national security.