Immigration Laws

In the U.S., immigration happens in droves. People from Mexico to Asia come to America looking for a better life. In fact, Mexico, India, Philippines and China are the countries from where the largest number people emigrate to the U.S. From the year 2000 to the year 2010, the U.S. has seen 14 million immigrants.

Immigration Law Basics

Immigration may be legal or illegal and the U.S. government has formulated various laws to cover immigration.

1990 Immigration Act (IMMACT)

This act covers the immigration law basics. According to this act, America can take in only seven hundred thousand people immigrants per year. This act also stipulates that a person can be permitted to immigrate only on two conditions:

  • If the applicant has a family in the U.S. (as he can reunite with his family if he immigrates).
  • If the reason for immigration is related to his employment.

Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA)

This was an act which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1996. It was introduced by Bob Dole and the president at the time was Bill Clinton. This act tightened the existing habeas corpus laws. Many people approved of this law while others criticized it. Those who were for the law argued that this act ensured that there was no way convicts could avoid punishment. Those who were against the law, felt that this act would result in the death of innocent people.

Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA)

According to this act which also covers the immigration law basics, immigrants who stayed above 180 days but less than 365 days in the U.S. without permission would have to stay out of the U.S. for three years. They could obtain a pardon and be saved from this punishment. Those who stayed without permits for more than 365 days could not enter the U.S. for 10 years unless they obtained a waiver.


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