Federal & Arizona Rights

 Federal Immigration Rights:

The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) is the current law that governs the immigration policies for the United States.

 Immigration to the United States is based on three principles:

1) Reunification of families

2) Admitting immigrants who have valuable skills

3) Protecting refugees

INA has established a worldwide limit of 675,000 permanent immigrants per year.

 Family-based immigration:

Family-based immigration allows U.S. citizens to bring family members to the United States as immediate relatives or through the family preference system.

Immediate relatives are:

-Spouses of U.S. citizens
-Unmarried children of U.S. citizens (under 21 years old)
-Parents of U.S. citizens
-There is no limit to the number of immediate relative visas given per year in the U.S.

The preference system:

-Adult children both married and unmarried
-Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens
-Spouses and unmarried children (minor and adult) of lawful permanent residents

There is a limit of 480,000 visas allowed to be given per year to people who qualify under the preference system.

Employment Based Immigration:

There are both temporary and permanent visas given out for employment purposes in the United States. This visa allows a person who has a valuable skill to come work in the U.S. for a given period of time.

*Note that the INA has put limits on the number of immigrants from one country that are allowed to come to the U.S. every year.


Every year the President and Congress establish a maximum number of refugees allowed to come to the U.S.

 Arizona’s Proposed Immigration Rights:

In April 2010 Arizona proposed a law regarding Arizona immigration policies. Shortly after the bill was signed however, the U.S. Department of Justice ruled that it was unconstitutional. The law is known as SB 1070 (“Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.”) One week after it was signed, the House of Representatives revised it as HB 2162.

SB 1070: The law was created to implement “attrition through enforcement” in Arizona. Attrition through enforcement is an approach where harsh enforcement of the immigration laws would make it so difficult for illegal immigrants to live in the U.S, they would choose to leave the country.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill however the Senate shut down most sections of the new immigration law, ruling those sections unconstitutional. They did uphold the contentious “show-me-your-papers” provision. This section of SB 1070 allows authorities to question the immigration status of a person who they suspect could be in the country illegally.

HB 2162: This revised SB 1070 to say that race cannot be considered when deciding whether or not to question a person’s immigration status unless the U.S. or Arizona Constitution permits it. HB 2162 also states that authoritative officers cannot inquire about a person’s immigration status unless they have stopped, detained or arrested them, as opposed to merely having contact with them.


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