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US Current Immigration Laws

US Current Immigration Laws

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Present U.S. immigration law relies upon the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 ("INA," codified in U.S.C. §1101 et.seq.), which has been amended several times over the previous 40 decades. Following are a few of the most important and current amendments to the INA:

Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act-2000

In the conclusion of the 106th Congress that the LIFE Act was commissioned as part of the Omnibus budget deal negotiated between Congress and the Clinton White House. The LIFE Act comprised five Big provisions:

  • New temporary visa for spouses of U.S. citizens wed overseas: Expands the current"K" visa for fiancés and fiancées of U.S. taxpayers to permit spouses of U.S. taxpayers that are married overseas, and their small children to go into the U.S. rather than waiting overseas for their green cards.
  • Relief for some members of this"overdue legalization" class actions suits: Enables individuals who have been wrongly denied the capacity to declare amnesty under the 1986 IRCA legislation (see below) and who had been members of three class-action lawsuits filed against the authorities to file fresh modification applications. Additionally permits their family members to remain in the U.S. and receive work authorization.

Contained at the 1994 State Department Authorization Act was a provision (Section 245(I)) which allowed adjustment of status to permanent residence for individuals who'd dropped"out of status" upon payment of a penalty fee. This provision has been made to expire in 3 decades. Back in 1997, Congress chose to cancel the 245(I) application but permitted for"grandfathering" of people who had filed a request or application for LPR status or who had a labor certification on file before January 14, 1998. The 1997 legislation also made a brand new §245(k) that enables particular employment-based visa applicants to adjust status in the USA provided that they haven't been out of status for over a total of 180 days.

 1997 Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act 

The legislation reduced the access to employment-based immigrant visas for lesser-skilled employees by half and reduced the diversity visas by 5,000 to adapt the new immigrants under this act.

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (Welfare Reform Law)

This legislation prevented legal permanent residents from getting most means-tested general public benefits, such as welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, supplemental security income (SSI), along with many others, irrespective of their period of residence from the USA or their involvement in the Social Security plan. Expecting a sponsor's income to be included in calculations of earnings when determining desire, and created the affidavit of support immigrants lawfully enforceable. Since the passing of the Act, the following laws have revived many advantages to legal citizens who had been in the USA at this time this legislation was enacted.

1996 Laws - the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA)

Collectively these laws:

  • Significantly expanded the classes of crimes (like non-violent crimes) for that an immigrant could be deported. The immigration definition of"aggravated felony" currently includes over 30 offenses, including such crimes as shoplifting and check kiting.
  • Declares criminal deportation provisions to be implemented retroactively, inducing long-term lawful occupants to be deported for minor offenses committed decades ago.
  • Eliminated certain waivers of deportation and curtailed the capacity of long-term citizens to reveal community ties and intense hardship to receive relief from deportation.
  • Launched an inventory elimination process, without an inspection, for persons coming to the United States without documents or with fraudulent documents, or who an immigration inspector considers is trying to enter the United States from misrepresentation. This provision permits the limited screening of individuals who assert a credible fear of persecution if returned to their own country.
  • Made special deportation provisions and courts to listen to"secret evidence" against foreign nationals deemed to become terrorists.
  • Eliminated judicial review of the majority of deportations for men convicted of criminal offenses.
  • Necessary creation of an automatic entry-exit management system in all land, sea, and atmosphere ports-of-entry to monitor all non-U.S. taxpayers.
  • Significantly revised the judicial procedure for the removal of aliens in the USA.

Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT 90)

It eliminated from yearly quotas immigrants that were immediate relatives (spouses, minor children, and parents) of all U.S. taxpayers, and recognized that a diversity immigration program by lottery to get applicants from underrepresented nations.

IMMACT 90 also made considerable modifications to the temporary (nonimmigrant) visa classes, for example, the H-1B group for temporary workers in specialty occupations, which, for the first time obtained a yearly cap of 65,000, and required companies to submit a labor attestation with the Department of Labor regarding salary and working conditions. A yearly cap was also set on the H-2B group for seasonal or temporary employees. Other modifications included the development of new classes (P and O ) for overseas nationals of exceptional ability in their discipline, athletes, and entertainers, a brand new Q visa for intercultural exchange, along with an R for religious workers, amongst others.

The legislation created a relief from removal named Temporary Protected Status (TPS) that empowers the Attorney General to designate nationals of particular countries from regions afflicted by environmental or political upheavals to stay in America for temporary periods. The law elegant and broadened the terms regarding deportable and excludable criminal crimes. IMMACT 90 also reorganized and eliminated obsolete grounds of exclusion and deportation.

Immigration Nursing Relief Act of 1989 (INRA)

This legislation created a new temporary visa class for Registered Nurses (H-1A) for five decades, which include strict demands for companies to demonstrate attempts to recruit and keep U.S. employees, such as a labor attestation for H-1A nurses. The legislation also allowed for instant adjustment of status to permanent residence, with no regard to quotas, for nurses that employed for three decades. This legislation sunsetted in 1994.

The Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments of 1986 (IMFA)

Even though less-well called IRCA, this legislation aimed to stop prohibited unions for"green cards." Among other states, it established that a two-year interval of"conditional permanent residence" for overseas nationals who wed U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents ("LPRs"), in the conclusion of the time the couple has to prove to the INS that the union is valid, and wasn't entered into for the sole intent of obtaining a green card.

 1986 The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)

IRCA introduced the idea of penalties against employers for knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants. IRCA requires all employers to verify the employment eligibility of new hires, but illegal discrimination in employment based on citizenship status or nationality. IRCA also launched several amnesty programs for a variety of groups of immigrants from the nation in an attempt to"clean the background." These included a general amnesty for immigrants who had arrived before January 1, 1982, an amnesty for Cuban and Haitian refugees, an amnesty for immigrants that had been within the U.S. for long amounts of time before 1972 (known as"registry"), along with two applications for agricultural employees.

This Act eliminated refugees from the total immigration quotas (put in 1976 in 290,000 visas), also gave them a distinct cap of 50,000 or more visas annually (to be put by the President).