Immigration is widely recognized as a major factor in the population growth of numerous states, and it also plays an important role in the growth of Illinois. Immigrants account for growing shares of the economy and electorate in Illinois. Nearly 1 in 7 Illinoisans are immigrants (foreign-born), and almost half of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. Immigrants are not only integral to the state’s economy as workers, but they also account for billions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. This percentage of the population is integral to Illinois’ economy and tax base, and they comprise a huge part of the electoral vote that every politician must consider.
A number of important life happenings, including employment eligibility, driver’s license and ID requirements, voting laws, educational resources, and access to public benefits, depend on your immigration status, so it’s essential to have a qualified immigration attorney on your side of any immigration matter.
Although immigration and enforcement are usually matters dealt with by federal immigration authorities, an increasing number of local and county law enforcement officials are starting to assist with, investigate, or pursue suspected immigration-related offenses. And recent high-profile immigration cases in Illinois and across the country have caused concern for many immigrant families. Knowing and protecting your rights can dramatically increase your quality of life.
At the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett, we take legal immigrants and undocumented immigrants and help them with their immigration law-related issues. Whether that legal issue is a new marriage that allows the new spouse to obtain a green card and then citizenship, or an undocumented immigrant facing an Illinois criminal charge that is subject to an ICE Hold (Immigration and Customs Enforcement Hold, commonly referred to as an I.C.E. Hold/ICE Hold).
Immigration laws are confusing. But because many lawyers in the Rockford are not familiar with the ins and outs of removal procedures, what may be a “good plea deal” for a U.S. citizen may result in immigration status consequences to an undocumented immigrant. Don’t settle for an inexperienced or unqualified attorney that could jeopardize your legal standing in this country.
Rockford-based Illinois attorney Paul M. Marriett has experience in immigration cases in the Rockford, Machesney Park, Loves Park, and Winnebago County at large, as well as many counties and communities throughout Illinois.
Types of Immigration Law
The Law Office of Paul M. Marriett provides a number of immigrations law services that span:
- Adjustments of Status: Many non-U.S. Citizens who enter the country legally on a non-immigrant visa qualify for an adjustment to permanent resident status and a green card. Common examples include family-based status (often resulting from marriage to a U.S. Citizen) and employment-based status after receiving a qualified permanent job offer.
- Naturalization/Citizenship: Immigrants who have had legal permanent resident (LPR) status for a certain length of time may qualify to become naturalized U.S. Citizens. There are many advantages to obtaining citizenship, such the right to vote and the ability to leave the country for extended periods of time without jeopardizing your status.
- Visas: We provide skilled assistance with all types of temporary (non-immigrant) and permanent (immigrant) visas. Some of the most common include tourist/visitor visas, student visas, family-based visas, fiancé visas and employment-based visas.
- Removal and Deportation: Being subject to removal hearings can be among the most frightening experiences for an immigrant. Our skilled legal team is there to assist with all issues related to removal proceedings; including ICE Detention/Detainers, ICE Holds, Immigration Bonds, Master Calendar Hearings and Individual Hearings.
- Options for Ineligible or Inadmissible Immigrants (WAIVERS): Non-U.S. Citizens who may have entered the country illegally, overstayed a visa or have otherwise jeopardized their legal status may qualify for immigration relief if they fit into certain specialized categories. Options for ineligible/inadmissible immigrants include asylum, U Visas or VAWA relief and relief under DACA, NACARA or the LIFE Act.
- Criminal Issues and Immigration: Our criminal defense team includes former prosecutors and former public defenders. Our attorneys are mindful of how criminal issues impact your immigration status, and we put this experience to work to provide clients a comprehensive range of relief options both through ICE and the criminal court system.
You Have Rights
It’s important to know that you have rights in this country and state that afford you and your family great protections. If you are confronted by a police officer or immigration agent:
- If you are not a U.S. citizen and you are carrying your immigration papers, you must show your papers to an immigration agent if the agent asks to see them.
- You have the right to remain silent and you are not required to answer any questions. You may tell the police officer or immigration agent that you choose to remain silent.
- If the police officer or immigration agent asks to search you, your belongings, your car or your home, you may refuse to consent to the search.
- The officer or agent may pat you down if they believe you are carrying a weapon.
If police officers or immigration agents come to your home:
- You do not have to open the door if police officers or immigration agents come to your home and do not have a warrant.
- If you are unsure if the officer is an immigration agent, you may ask what agency they represent and specifically if they are immigration agents or from ICE.
- You may ask the officers or agents why they are there.
- You may ask for an interpreter if they do not speak your language.
- If the officers or agents say they have a warrant, you may ask to see it before letting them inside.
- If the warrant is issued by a court and signed by a judge, the officers may enter your home. If the document is not signed by a judge, you are not required to let them inside. You may say: “You are not allowed to enter.”
- If the officers or agents force their way into your home, do not resist. You may tell them: “You are not allowed to enter. I do not consent to a search. I wish to remain silent. I wish to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.”
Know that the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett is dedicated to you and to your family during your time of need; it is not unusual for someone from my office to travel with your friend’s or family members’ bond check to Chicago and physically wait at the I.C.E. field office to make your family members bond payment. After doing this, we even make arrangements on having them returned to the Rockford area for you.
To speak with a skilled attorney about legal matters involving immigration and visas, contact the Law Office of Paul M. Marriett at (815) 391-0089 or use the contact form on this page to receive a response within 24 hours.
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