Illegal immigration penalties are enforced for various violations of immigration law. Illegal immigration can occur through such acts as:
- Entering the country illegally (i.e., not at a designated point of entry)
- Entering the country using false documents, or engaging in immigration fraud
- Deceiving or bribing immigration officials
- Overstaying a visa
- Fleeing authorities when facing a removal hearing
In addition, legal consequences can result for persons who participate in concealing or hiding an illegal immigrant in order to escape from authorities. Illegal immigration penalties can result once immigration authorities learn of the situation.
Some penalties for illegal immigration may include:
- Immediate removal from the United States
- Prohibitions on re-entry for certain periods of time
- Other legal consequences (such as criminal charges if applicable)
In some cases, a person may be temporarily barred from re-entry into the country after deportation. For instance, immigration authorities may prohibit them from re-entering until after five years. In other cases, the person may be permanently banned from re-entering the country. This can happen for instance if the person has been removed from the country multiple times already.
The E-Verify system is a newer system for employers that uses computers and computer data bases to verify whether an immigrant worker has the legal status to work in the country. The system involves submission of employee data to a central database, which then confirms the person’s immigration status. The system can then make very rapid determinations regarding immigration statuses.
Persons who are found to be illegal immigrants through E-Verify are not allowed to work, and may also face removal hearings later on. Employers who do not comply with E-Verify requirements may also face legal consequences.
In some cases, a stay of removal or a cancellation of removal may be applicable depending on the facts. You may wish to hire a immigration lawyer if you or any of your loved ones needs help with illegal immigration laws. Your attorney can advise you on how to proceed, and can also provide you with legal representation in the event that you need to attend an immigration court proceeding.