Street Law: A Course in Practical Law

Chapter 45: Immigration Law

Cases and Resources

Coming to America
The Process of Removal for Noncitizens
Person Seeking Humanitarian Protection in the United States
Immigration Law and Policy

Overview of Immigration
Read this summary of U.S. immigration, then use the links on the right side of the screen to explore different topics related to immigration.

History of U.S. Immigration
This site provides a brief history of U.S. immigration, as well as a detailed timeline of important dates in immigration history. Why is it important to understand the history of U.S. immigration?

Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1952
Though a variety of immigration laws and policies have been debated in the last several decades, the Immigration and naturalization Act, passed in 1952, continues to be the basic immigration law of the country. Read a summary of this law, and then read the full text. What are its basic provisions?

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Applying for U.S. Citizenship
Read this guide to the application process for obtaining U.S. Citizenship. Use the links on the right side of the screen to explore other topics in immigration law. What are some of the criteria for becoming a citizen?

Naturalization test
To become a citizen, immigrants must pass a citizenship test. Check out this sample test, provided as a study guide for immigrants. Can you pass?

Glossary of Immigration Terms
Use this glossary to help you understand the meaning of some technical terms in immigration law.

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Coming to America
Types of Visas
There are several different types of visas available to immigrants to the United States. Which types of visas are only temporary, and which can lead to permanent residency or citizenship?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was created in 2003 when the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) merged into the Department of Homeland Security. Explore the site of the USCIS. What is the agency's primary responsibility?

Green Card vs. Citizenship
What is the difference between holding a green card and being a full U.S. citizen? Explore this site to find out. What are some rights that citizens have that those who hold green cards don't?

Undocumented Immigrants: Facts and Figures
Read this report published by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan economic and social policy research group, to find out more about undocumented immigrants. Approximately how many are living in the United States right now?

Immigration Reform and Control Act
Passed in 1986, this law toughened criminal penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Later, the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 made certain exceptions for employers who acted in good faith to ascertain immigration status. Read a summary of the 1986 law here, or the full text.

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The Process of Removal for Noncitizens
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
This agency is the largest investigative branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Explore its site to find out what about its role in protecting national security and enforcing immigration regulations.

Immigrants and Due Process
Immigrants are not given full due process rights during their removal hearings. The American Immigration Council is an organization that advocates for increased due process for immigrants. Explore this list of resources on that topic provided by the American Immigration Council.

Executive Office for Immigration Review
Removal hearings are held in special Immigration Courts. These courts are part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is a division of the Department of Justice. Why are these courts part of the executive branch rather than the judicial branch?

Legal Aid for Immigrants
Some organizations and law schools provide free or reduced legal aid to immigrants facing removal. Read this article about one such group from the University of Texas law school.

Summary of removal process
If an immigrant is not allowed to stay in the United States permanently, they can be deported, or removed. Read this summary of the complicated removal process.

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Persons Seeking Humanitarian Protection in the United States
Asylum and Refugee Overview
Read this overview of the process of seeking asylum as an immigrant. How is this different from becoming a full citizen?

Asylum FAQs
This site is provided by the USCIS to assist those who are seeking asylum in the United States. Explore the links to find out more.

Seeking Asylum
Seeking asylum in the United States can take a long time and be very difficult. Read this opinion article about the importance of offering protection to asylum seekers.

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Immigration Law and Policy
Justice Talking: Immigration
This site contains background information on the contentious issues involved with immigration law and policy. Read some of the articles to better understand why immigration is so controversial.

Debate Over Immigration Policy
The debate over immigration policy promises to be a major issue for the next several years. Explore this site with information on the issue, and the positions of both sides.

Border Angels
Border Angels is a group that is in favor of immigration policies more favorable towards those trying to enter the United States. Explore their site to learn more about their position. Do you agree with this view?

Federation for American Immigration Reform
The Federation for American Immigration Reform is a group that is in favor of immigration policies that make it more difficult for immigrants to enter the United States. Explore their site to learn more about their position. Do you agree with this view?

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