Illegal immigration, often referred to as unauthorized immigration, takes place when a foreign national enters the United States without obtaining proper government permission and in violation of the U.S. immigration laws. Illegal immigration also occurs when a foreign national who was temporarily admitted to the U.S. (under a visa) stays beyond the date he or she was authorized to remain in the U.S., in violation of the law.
Deportation is a very serious matter. If you are facing deportation you should consult a Baltimore deportation lawyer about your options to ensure you are doing everything legally possible to stay in the United States.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a 2011 study estimated that there were approximately 10.8 million unauthorized immigrants living the United States in January 2010. This same study reported that the unauthorized population in the U.S. increased by 27 percent between 2000 and 2010. Thirty-nine percent of this unauthorized population entered the U.S. in the year 2000 or later with 62 percent coming from Mexico.
In this study, DHS defines “unauthorized residents” to include:
[A]ll foreign-born non-citizens who are not legal residents. Most unauthorized residents either entered the United States without inspection or were admitted temporarily and stayed past the date they were required to leave.
In 2010, the North America Region, which includes Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America, was the leading region of unauthorized immigrants with approximately 80 percent (8.6 million) of the total unauthorized immigrant population.
Asia was the second largest region with 1.0 million followed by South America at 0.8 million. Mexico represented the largest source country of unauthorized U.S. immigration with approximately 6.6 million unauthorized immigrants in 2010.
The next leading countries were El Salvador (620,000 unauthorized immigrants), Guatemala (520,000 unauthorized immigrants), Honduras (330, 000 unauthorized immigrants) and the Philippines (280,000 unauthorized immigrants).
According to this study, in 2010, California, Texas and Florida led the nation in terms of residence of the unauthorized immigrant population:
Unauthorized immigrants are subject to strict fines and penalties under U.S. law, including deportation. Under Section 1325 of Title 8 of the United States Code, aliens who enter or attempt to enter the United States improperly can be subject to fines, imprisonment or both. Depending on the nature of the violation, the immigrant could face imprisonment for up to six months for the first violation, with a subsequent offense resulting in imprisonment for a period of not more than two years.
Individuals who overstay the time period permitted under their visa can also face strict penalties under U.S. immigration laws. Depending on the length of the overstay, such individuals may be subject to either a three-year penalty (for six to 12 months of unlawful presence) or ten-year penalty (for unlawful presence for more than a year) barring their reentry to the United States.
Miranda & Weisman is a Baltimore area law firm focused on the practice of immigration law. We offer comprehensive legal services to individuals, families, and businesses facing immigration issues ranging from routine to complex.
If you have questions about the U.S. immigration laws or a deportation matter, you can reach a Baltimore deportation lawyer at our firm by completing our online contact form or calling us at 410-321-4994.