Immigration

Immigration in United States

Immigration Definition

The removing into one place from another. It differs from “emigration,” which is the moving from one place into another. Read more about the meaning of Immigration in the law Dictionaries.

Immigration: A Nation of Immigrants

Introduction to the topic

Although the United States has been shaped by successive waves of immigrants, Americans have often viewed immigration as a problem. Established Americans often look down on new immigrants. The cultural habits of immigrants are frequently targets of criticism, especially when the new arrivals come from a different country than those in the established community. Despite such tensions, economic needs have always forced Americans to seek immigrants as laborers and settlers, and economic opportunities have beckoned foreigners. The vast majority of immigrants to the United States have come in search of jobs and the chance to create a better life for themselves and their families. In all of American history, less than 10 percent of immigrants have come for political or religious reasons.

Economic immigrants from Europe, Asia, and Latin America have come to the United States voluntarily. Others, most notably African Americans, were involuntarily transported to North America to do forced labor or to be sold as slaves. Regardless of the reasons they come to the United States, new immigrants typically work in menial, labor-intensive, low-paying, and dangerous jobs-occupations that most other Americans shun. They are often treated with disdain until they assimilate-that is, adopt the mainstream American culture established by earlier immigrants.

Although immigrants are expected to absorb the beliefs and standards of the dominant society, most immigrant groups try to maintain their own cultural heritage, language, and religious practices. Some groups, such as the Huguenots (French Protestants) who immigrated during the colonial period, assimilated within one or two generations. Others, such as the German and Irish immigrants of the 19th century, still maintain some aspects of their traditional cultures.

Traditionally the United States has been described as a melting pot, a place where the previous identities of each immigrant group are melted down to create an integrated, uniform society. Since the 1960s, many Americans have rejected the melting pot metaphor in favor of the image of the mosaic, a picture created by assembling many small stones or tiles. In a mosaic, each piece retains its own distinctive identity, while contributing to a larger design. Advocates of the mosaic metaphor assert that it better represents the diverse multicultural society of the United States. Today, many Americans value their immigrant heritage as an important part of their identity. More recent immigrant groups from Asia, such as Vietnamese Americans and Korean Americans, have established communities alongside those populated by the descendants of European immigrants, such as French Americans, German Americans, Irish Americans, and Italian Americans.” (1)

Illegal Immigration Cases

The high court confronted the illegal immigration dilemma head-on as it considered whether federal law preempts an Arizona statute imposing sanctions on employers who hire undocumented aliens (Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria, 558 F.3d 856 (9th Cir. 2009), cert. granted, 130 S. Ct. 3498 (June 28, 2010)).

The case turns in part on whether the Arizona law violates a federal statute that expressly “preempt[s] any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions … upon those who employ … unauthorized aliens” (8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(h)(2)). A second question was the extent to which federal law wholly occupies the field and thus preempts state and local efforts to control illegal immigration. The case offers a timely window through which to assess how the justices might deal with Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 (the law authorizing local police to stop persons they suspect are undocumented aliens) if and when it comes before them for review.

Immigration and Alienage in the United States Constitution

According to the Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, about its article titled IMMIGRATION AND ALIENAGE, the Constitution’s silences about immigration and the rights of aliens leave great room for interpretation and contestation. The text does not confer an express immigration power on the federal government. Before the civil war, states often attempted to regulate this issue.

Immigration Courts Caseload

  • 57 U.S. immigration courts
  • 231 Immigration court judges
  • 1,243 Average number of cases that go before an immigration judge each year
  • 280,000 Approximate number of immigration cases handled annually
  • 30,000 Approximate number of decisions made annually by the Board of Immigration Appeals
  • 17% Share of the federal circuit court caseload dedicated to immigration appeals over the past 5 years
  • 35% TO 40% Share of Ninth Circuit and Second Circuit (New York) docket dedicated to immigration appeals

Source: American Bar Association, 2010

Immigration in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

Link Description
Immigration Immigration in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
Immigration Immigration in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
Immigration Immigration in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Immigration Immigration in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
Immigration Immigration in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

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Concept of Immigration

In the U.S., in the context of Foreign Affairs and National Defense, Immigration has the following meaning: Movement of people from one country to another, for purposes of permanent or long-term relocation. Nations typically have policies restricting or governing immigration, as a means of population control and national security. Immigration controls can also have cultural goals. (Source of this definition of Immigration : University of Texas)

Immigration

Concept of INA

In relation to immigration and citizenship, INA is defined as: An abbreviation (see more United States law abbreviations in the legal abbreviations platform of this Project) for the Immigration and Nationality Act.

National Origins Act of 1924 in the U.S. Legal History

Summary

Law that restricted immigration to 2 percent for any given nationality, based on the total amounts from the 1890 census. Use of the 1890 census effectively restricted immigrants from eastern and southern Europe.

Main Elements

Immigration Defined

mmigration law refers to the rules established by the federal government for determining who is allowed to enter the country, and for how long. It also governs the naturalization process for those who desire to become U.S. citizens. Finally, when foreign nationals enter without permission, overstay their visit, or otherwise lose their legal status, immigration law controls how the detention and removal proceedings are carried out.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship

mmigrating to the United States requires individuals to submit a number of detailed applications to the federal government. Further complicating matters, immigration regulations change often, making it difficult for anyone without formal training to stay current on the law.

Finding the law: Immigration in the U.S. Code

A collection of general and permanent laws relating to immigration, passed by the United States Congress, are organized by subject matter arrangements in the United States Code (U.S.C.; this label examines immigration topics), to make them easy to use (usually, organized by legal areas into Titles, Chapters and Sections). The platform provides introductory material to the U.S. Code, and cross references to case law. View the U.S. Code’s table of contents here.

Immigration

In Legislation

Immigration in the U.S. Code: Title 8, Chapter 6

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating immigration are compiled in the United States Code under Title 8, Chapter 6. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Aliens and Nationality (including immigration) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Immigration of the US Code, including immigration) by chapter and subchapter.

Immigration

In Legislation

Immigration in the U.S. Code: Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating immigration are compiled in the United States Code under Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Aliens and Nationality (including immigration) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Immigration, Nationality and Immigration of the US Code, including immigration) by chapter and subchapter.

Immigration

In Legislation

Immigration in the U.S. Code: Title 22, Chapter 15, Subchapter I, Part 4

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating immigration are compiled in the United States Code under Title 22, Chapter 15, Subchapter I, Part 4. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Foreign Relations (including immigration) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Philippines of the US Code, including immigration) by chapter and subchapter.

Immigration

In Legislation

Immigration in the U.S. Code: Title 22, Chapter 15, Subchapter II, Part 4

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating immigration are compiled in the United States Code under Title 22, Chapter 15, Subchapter II, Part 4. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Foreign Relations (including immigration) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, Philippines of the US Code, including immigration) by chapter and subchapter.

Resources

See Also

  • Foreign Affairs
  • National Defense

Concept of INA

In relation to immigration and citizenship, INA is defined as: An abbreviation (see more United States law abbreviations in the legal abbreviations platform of this Project) for the Immigration and Nationality Act.

National Origins Act of 1924 in the U.S. Legal History

Summary

Law that restricted immigration to 2 percent for any given nationality, based on the total amounts from the 1890 census. Use of the 1890 census effectively restricted immigrants from eastern and southern Europe.

Main Elements

Immigration Defined

mmigration law refers to the rules established by the federal government for determining who is allowed to enter the country, and for how long. It also governs the naturalization process for those who desire to become U.S. citizens. Finally, when foreign nationals enter without permission, overstay their visit, or otherwise lose their legal status, immigration law controls how the detention and removal proceedings are carried out.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship

mmigrating to the United States requires individuals to submit a number of detailed applications to the federal government. Further complicating matters, immigration regulations change often, making it difficult for anyone without formal training to stay current on the law.

Resources

Notes and References

See Also

  • Immigration Discrimination
  • Immigration From 1900 To 1924
  • Immigration Reforms Of 1996 And 1997
  • Immigration From 1840 To 1900 Settlement Patterns
  • New Immigration
  • Immigration From 1924 To 1964
  • Immigration From 1840 To 1900
  • Causes Of Colonial Immigration
  • Immigration From 1775 To 1840
  • Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
  • Causes Of 19th Century Immigration
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review
  • Spanish Colonial Immigration
  • Guide to Legal Assistance for Immigrants
  • List of Immigration Laws

Guide to Immigration

Further Reading

Immigration: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Immigration. This part provides references, in relation to Immigration, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Immigration by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Immigration and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Immigration or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Immigration and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Immigration. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Immigration should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Immigration when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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