Immigration: Defining an Undocumented Immigrant

This article will discuss common questions and misconceptions associated with undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Aug 10, 2017 Mark

Press Release ( - Cleveland, Ohio - Aug 10, 2017 - Often, each person has their own definition of what an ‘undocumented immigrant’ is.  An easy definition of an undocumented immigrant is that he or she is a foreign born person who does not have a legal right to be or to remain in the United States. While this definition may be easy there are a number of elements, misconceptions and questions surrounding undocumented immigrants. This article will discuss common questions and misconceptions associated with undocumented immigrants in the United States.

A common term used to refer to undocumented immigrants is ‘illegal alien’. While illegal alien is not a technical term it is popularly used as jargon for undocumented immigrant. However, nowhere will you find the term illegal alien in the U. S. immigration laws. A Herman Legal Group attorney stated that, “the reason for this is that it has insulting connotations associated with it even though it covers a variety of types of people. Therefore, it is best to use the more neutral term undocumented immigrant.”

According to an estimate provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Pew Research Center, the number of undocumented immigrants in the U. S. sits at approximately 11.1 to 11.4 million. As a result of these numbers a commonly asked question is: why has the U. S. not deported all undocumented immigrants? It must be known that each deportation process has a specific cost associated with it. To illustrate, one Immigration and Customs Enforcement director estimated that it would cost on average of $12 500 to deport each person from the U. S. Further, according to a 2010 report by the Centre of American Progress, it costs $23 480 to deport just one person; such costs include the cost of legal proceedings, apprehension, detention and transportation. Therefore, part of the reason why the U. S. has not deported all undocumented immigrants is as a result of insufficient enforcement resources, in comparison with the number of undocumented immigrants.

Another reason provided by the Herman Legal Group attorney, why the U. S. has not deported all undocumented immigrants, is that there exists some grey areas which provide someone who is undocumented some form of right to stay in the U. S. Some undocumented immigrants are unaware that they might have the right to remain in the U. S. based on old laws, a valid claim of asylum, temporary protected status or another form of immigration relief. For example, asylum seekers who are fleeing from their home countries as a result of persecution by their own government, may be unable to make direct contact with a refugee agency and as a result the only choice is to enter the U. S. illegally.  After entry into the U. S. they have no actual right to asylum and to be in the U. S. however, if they are caught and placed in removal proceedings they are allowed to claim asylum at that point and may very well be granted it.

Under a policy called ‘prosecutorial discretion’ a number of immigrants, for example students and those with close family members in the U. S. are supposed to be left alone by the immigration authorities in order for the authorities to focus on immigrants that are criminals or risks to U. S. society. As a result some of these immigrants may be granted some form of limbo status called ‘deferred action’ and in some cases a work permit.

The attorney stated that as a result of such varying circumstances it is important for undocumented immigrants to seek out legal immigration assistance from an immigration law firm. If you are an undocumented immigrant, to know your chances start looking for immigration attorney in Detroit. For legal advice and representation seek out the best immigration lawyer in Columbus Ohio.

About the company:

The Herman Legal Group is a law firm of renowned professionals who specialize in immigration law. For an Ohio immigration lawyer office contact the Herman Legal Group.

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CATEGORIES : Immigration Law


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