Undocumented immigration in New Mexico
Getting a visa or asylum status is out of reach for many immigrants, so sometimes they enter the country without authorization. Being undocumented in the U.S. can make life difficult for an immigrant; it can hard to secure employment, get a driver’s license or even open a bank account. There are also legal ramifications including deportation and being barred from the U.S.
The federal government has authority over immigration enforcement, but New Mexico has a couple of laws specific to the state to aid federal immigration authorities. Under New Mexico law, state police are required to report any they arrest who cannot show they are legal residents to federal immigration agents.
New Mexico’s Department of Corrections takes part in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ACCESS Program, officers in the New Mexico Dept. of Corrections cooperate directly with federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration law.
Immigrants hoping to live or work in New Mexico need to apply for a visa, asylum or another immigration status. The U.S. State Department issues over 20 visas based on the reason for an immigrant’s travel, how long they plan on staying in the U.S. and if they are sponsored by a U.S. employer or family member.
Immigration through Employment
Employment visas are issued for temporary or long-term employment in New Jersey
Short-term employment visas include:
- H-2A-Temporary visa issued to agricultural workers
- H-2B-Temporary visa issued to non-agricultural workers
- H-1B- This is visa is issued to workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher is specialty occupations. The H-1B visa is commonly awardd to temporary workers, but some H-1B visa recipients can apply for a green card.
Immigrant work visas include:
EB-1- For first preference workers
EB-2- For second preference workers who hold advanced degrees
SD, SR-Religious workers
Immigration through family, fiancé(e), spouse
Immigrant visas for foreign-born family members include:
- Visas for spouses of a U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
- Visa for a fiancé(e) to marry a U.S. citizen
- Visa for family relation of U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
- Intercountry adoption of orphaned children
- Cross-border passes
Many Americans and Mexicans live and work near the New Mexico border, so they need a border pass go back and forth. Immigrants who need to cross the border can apply for a B1 or B2 Border Crossing Card.
Visit the State Department website for a comprehensive list of visas.
Other immigration statuses
Not all immigrants arrive in the U.S. with a visa; a smaller fraction can enter the U.S. because they are refugees or they are granted humanitarian parole. Asylum and humanitarian parole are only awarded to immigrants who live in countries where their personal safety is endangered by war, terrorism, gang violence or natural disaster.
Contact an immigration attorney
If you need to renew a visa, help a family member immigrate or are facing deportation, USAttorneys recommends you get the advice of an attorney. We have a knowledgeable team of immigration lawyers in New Mexico who can assist immigrants with a variety of immigration-related applications or issues. Our legal team is dedicated to helping immigrants achieve their dream of living in America.