Basic Immigration Laws

In the last few years, there have been significant changes to the U. S. immigration laws. This page provides a brief outline of the laws governing the process. To learn more about your rights in an immigration matter, contact our office or call us at one of the numbers listed below.

For additional information on other immigration matters, see the following pages:

An overview of the immigration process

Establishing temporary or permanent legal residency in the United States

The role of the government in immigration matters

Deportation or removal proceedings

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

The Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8 of the US Code) has been in effect since 1952, setting forth the basic structure for the regulation of immigration in the United States.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA)

IRCA helps state and federal officials identify aliens who are working illegally in the United States. It prohibits the hiring of any undocumented workers, mandating that employers confirm the eligibility of each employee.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act

This statute was enacted in 1996, improving border controls, establishing penalties for the violation of immigration laws, and improving enforcement of immigration laws. It also provided new measures for the apprehension and detention of illegal aliens, and addressed removal proceedings, including voluntary departures.

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act

This act was passed in 1994 and amended in 2000 under the Battered Immigrant Women's Act. It provides relief in the United States to women and children who have been victims of domestic violence or cruelty.

The Homeland Security Act

The Homeland Security Act was passed in 2002 to create the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees the protection of the United States and its citizens from terrorist attacks. The Homeland Security Act replaced the Immigration and Naturalization Service with two new entities: the bureau of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); and the Undersecretary or Border and Transportation Security (BTS). USCIS has responsibility for immigration matters, including visa, naturalization, asylum and refugee applications. BTS monitors who enters the country, as well as detention and removal.

Contact Us: Texas Immigration Law Attorneys in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston

For a free initial consultation, contact our office or call us at one of the numbers listed below.