Illegal immigration in Texas
As a border state, Texas has a large population of undocumented immigrants. Some crossed the border illegally through a tunnel or other smuggling operation. Other immigrants are undocumented because they overstayed a work or travel visa. Whatever their reason for being undocumented, it is a risky way to live and could result in deportation. USAttorneys wants to encourage all immigrants to get legal authorization before entering the U.S. or neglecting to renew a visa.
Texas is one of the many states that assist federal immigration officials with enforcement and participates in two
The first program is Secure Communities. For that program, law enforcement officers are asked to enter the fingerprints of any arrestees they suspect of being undocumented into a federal database. If it turns out that an immigrant is has an unauthorized presence, they can be held until immigration agents arrive to pick them up.
The second program Texas participates in is 287(g) the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ACCESS Program. Police in Carrollton, Farmers Branch and Harris County agree to cooperate with federal immigration authorities to enforce immigration laws.
Entering Texas with legal authorization
Immigrants who want to enter Texas with authorization can apply for a visa. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issue millions of visas for work, travel and immigration each year. Immigrants can apply for an immigrant (permanent) visa if they plan on moving to Texas and applying for a green card. Or, an individual can apply for a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa for short-term employment or travel
Immigrant visas include:
- Visa for spouse of a U.S. citizens or green card holder
- Visa for relative of U.S. citizens or green card holder
- Visas for a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen
- Nonimmigrant visas include:
- H-1B Visa- Granted to highly-skilled workers with at least a bachelor’s degree
- H-2B Visa- Temporary visa for employment in the agricultural industry
- H-2B Visa- Temporary visa for work in the hospitality industry
- Student visa
In border states, it is common for Americans and Mexicans to travel across the border frequently, so residents in border towns need a border pass to travel back and forth. An immigrant that needs to cross the border regularly, can apply for a B1 or B2 Border Crossing Card.
The State Department website has a comprehensive list of visas on their website.
There are other ways to get legal entry to the U.S. depending on your reason for immigrating and the conditions in your native country. If you have any questions about immigrating to the USAttorneys recommends you speak with an immigration attorney in Texas. Our skilled team of lawyers can help you get a visa or sponsor a family member.