Immigration, Mexico, law, legal system, Latino


Not only is the question of immigration controversial, it is complex -- laden with legal nuances as well as implications for human and civil rights. This article provides an overview of what happens to an immigrant who seeks to enter the country ‘legally,’ as well as the challenges for an immigrant who enters the country without authorization. Social workers who serve immigrants may find themselves called on to advocate for clients as they traverse a labyrinth court system. I introduce this system to help practitioners and students understand the paths to legal immigration in the United States, as well as barriers to those who can not access this system. I explain the system to offer insight into why 11.9 million immigrants have entered the U.S. without authorization rather than attempt legal means to immigrate.

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