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Immigration and Naturalization Law

Federal immigration law is complex and constantly evolving. As concerns over national security have increased in the past decade, immigration and visa rules have become even more restrictive and the federal government is far less forgiving of immigration law violations. If you or a loved one has been accused of an immigration law violation, a skilled attorney can explain your options and assist you at every step of the legal process.

Individual Immigration Law Violations

At the individual level, violations of immigration law can take a number of different forms. Immigration law applies not only to undocumented aliens who enter the country illegally but also to U.S. citizens who facilitate or assist in the entry of an illegal alien. Some of the most common offenses that may constitute a violation of immigration law include:

  • Falsifying or altering any immigration document or using said document to obtain illegally entry into the U.S.
  • Knowingly harboring an illegal alien
  • Assisting an illegal immigrant to enter the U.S. without documentation
  • Remaining in the U.S. despite receiving a deportation notice or returning illegally after being deported
  • Participating in a fraudulent marriage to help an undocumented immigrant gain U.S. citizenship
  • Failing to pay taxes on any illegally earned income
  • Applying for and receiving any type of government aid while in the country illegally
  • Assisting illegal aliens in entering the country for the specific purpose of having them perform illicit or illegal acts

U.S. citizens who are found guilty of immigration law violations may be subject to hefty fines and/or imprisonment, depending on the seriousness of the crime. Undocumented aliens who are found guilty of immigration crimes may face deportation and be prevented from re-entering the country for a period of five years or ten years, depending on the circumstances of their removal. Your attorney can explain the different penalties for immigration law violations in more detail.

Employment-Related Immigration Law Violations

A separate class of immigration violations applies to employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996, employers are required to verify the identity and work authorization of anyone they hire by completing an I-9 form. Employers are prohibited from hiring any illegal alien who is not authorized to work in the U.S. Generally, employer violations of immigration law are punishable by fines, unless it's determined that there is a prior history or pattern of knowingly employing undocumented workers. Criminal immigration law violations are punishable by a fine and a prison term, depending on the total number of acts. It is important to contact a lawyer today if you are facing immigration law violations.

Hiring a Chicago Immigration Law Attorney

When facing prosecution for an immigration law violation, it's critical that you have a dedicated and experienced legal advocate on your side. The U.S. legal system can be confusing, particularly for individuals who may be unfamiliar with how the judicial process works or for whom cultural and language differences may present an obstacle. If you're a loved one has been charged with violating immigration law, you need to contact an attorney you can trust to aggressively defend your rights.

We specialize in representing individuals in the Chicago area who have been charged with immigration law and criminal violations. He has successfully worked on behalf of both citizens and non-citizens to protect their legal rights and avoid the potentially devastating consequences that can result from a criminal conviction.

If you need help in defending yourself against an immigration charge, don't hesitate to call Michael P. Schmiege today at (312) 906-7800 to begin your free initial consultation.

405 N. Wabash Ave., Suite P2C, Chicago, IL 60611
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Law Offices of Michael P. Schmiege - Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Located at 53 West Jackson Blvd., #1515 Chicago, IL 60604. View Map
Phone: (312) 626-2400