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How to Navigate the US Legal System With or Without an Immigration Attorney

Immigration pardon
by SS&SS

Article by Andrea Avery

There are few aspects of the United States’ legal system that are stricter and more difficult to navigate than the laws governing immigrants. Whether you are hoping to move to America to start a new life or have arrived in the country already and hope to gain citizenship, having a knowledgeable representative to help guide you through the process couldn’t be more necessary.

There are no two ways around it: If you are a foreign-born individual with hopes of legally immigrating to the United States to work or to simply start a new life, you need an immigration attorney.

Immigrants moving into the U.S. is one of the most closely monitored and hotly debated topics around the country, and in recent years the laws and guidelines that govern it have become more stringent and harder to stay on top of. Because so many individuals from around the world attempt to immigrate to the U.S. each year, the process of doing so formally and officially is specific and must be followed explicitly to avoid significant issues.

The consequences for being in the United States illegally, both for a short period of time and indefinitely, are serious. In most cases, if an individual is found to be on American soil without proper documentation or citizenship, the penalties will challenge that person’s ability to stay in the country into the future. This is why it couldn’t be more important to hire an immigration attorney if you are thinking of immigrating, as he or she will understand and guide you through the extensive process of obtaining all the necessary documentation.

Having such representation is necessary whether or not an immigrant has already stepped foot on American soil legally or illegally. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 ratcheted up penalties for missteps in the process considerably.

Under the act, which was passed under President Bill Clinton and is often abbreviated as IIRIRA, if an undocumented alien is found to have been in the United States illegally for between 180 and 365 days, that person is then banned from entering the country for three years unless he or she is able to receive a pardon. If that person is found to have been in the U.S. for longer than 365 days, he or she is banned for a period of 10 years. If the individual receives either of these penalties and returns to the U.S. without a pardon, the ban is extended by an additional 10 years.

At the time an illegal immigrant is caught, that person can be held in jail for a period of up to two years before appearing in court. For such a hearing, an immigration attorney is required to be hired by the defendant. At this time, even minor offenses such as misdemeanors can result in immediate deportation.

Don’t take chances with one of America’s most complex and highly scrutinized legal systems. If you plan on attempting to make the U.S. your permanent home, hire an immigration attorney to make the process as smooth and successful as possible for you.

About the Author

A Memphis immigration attorney will make sure that whatever rights your situation entitles you to will be granted to you through the judicial process. To get a lawyer like this visit: http://www.attorneyinmemphis.com/ .

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