Why Immigration Status is Important
Immigration status determines a person’s:
- Vulnerability to removal
- Right to work legally
- Ability to petition for family members
- Right to get Social Security number
- Eligibility for public benefits
- Right to vote
How does a person gain status?
There are many ways to gain lawful status. The most common paths to status include:
What does it mean to be undocumented?
- A person is commonly referred to as “undocumented” if s/he was not inspected and authorized by U.S. immigration authorities to be lawfully admitted to the U.S.
- But an undocumented person may be eligible to change their immigration status.
What is lawful permanent residence?
- A lawful permanent resident (green card holder) can live and work in the U.S. permanently.
- Lawful permanent residents are eligible to become citizens. However, they are still vulnerable to deportation.
Why do families matter?
- The most common way to gain immigration status is through a family member.
- Most children derive their status from their parents.
- And many individuals gain status through marriage.