Boynton Beach Immigration Services, focusing on U.S. immigration, Green Card through Marriage and various U.S. applications in Boynton Beach – Palm Beach County, Florida. We have vast experience and a great reputation for providing high-quality service to assist you, family, fiance or friends with Translating, filling out forms correctly, Notarizing and submitting legal documents with US Department of Homeland Security & Government Agencies in South Florida. We assist in Translating and filling out Immigration and N-400 Naturalization forms to apply for different Visas, I-134 Fiance K-1 Visa, I-90 Green Card and N-400 Citizenship forms, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (Marriage), simple divorce documents, modification of visitation, child support and any legal document that does not require a Lawyer or their ridiculous fees!
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U.S. Green Card
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Professional Translation Services
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•We do not offer any legal advice
•Our service price does not include any applicable courthouse filing fees or government filing fees
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•Our services are available in any language
We currently assist clients from all over the world and schedule in home Translation, Immigration, Tax & Notary services in:
Broward County, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services:
Coconut Creek, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Fort Lauderdale, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Collier County, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services:
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East Naples, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Martin County, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services:
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Indiantown, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Jensen Beach, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Palm City, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Miami-Dade County, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services:
Aventura, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Bay Harbor Islands, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Biscayne Park, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Coral Gables, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Florida City, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Hialeah, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Hialeah Gardens, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Homestead, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Key Biscayne, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Medley, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Miami, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Miami Springs, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
North Bay Village, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
North Miami Beach, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
North Miami, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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South Miami, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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West Miami, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Palm Beach County, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services:
Atlantis, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Belle Glade, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Boca Raton, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Boynton Beach, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Briny Breezes, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Cloud Lake, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Delray Beach, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Golf, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Jupiter, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Jupiter Inlet Colony, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Manalapan, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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North Palm Beach, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Pahokee, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Palm Beach Gardens, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Palm Springs, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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Royal Palm Beach, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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South Palm Beach, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Tequesta, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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West Palm Beach, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
St. Lucie County, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services:
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Hutchinson Island South, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Indian River Estates, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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North Hutchinson Island, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Port St. Lucie, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
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St. Lucie West, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Tradition, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Walton, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
White City, FL Immigration Services & Translation Services
Boynton Beach, Florida
Boynton Beach is a city in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The population was 68,217 at the 2010 census. In 2006, the city had a population of 66,714 according to the University of Florida, Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Boynton Beach is a principal city of the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had a 2006 estimated population of 5,463,857. Despite the city’s name, it has no beachfront; rather, it is located across the Intracoastal Waterway from the oceanfront municipalities of Ocean Ridge and Briny Breezes.
In 1894, two years before Henry Morrison Flagler built his railroad, a former American Civil War major named Nathan Boynton first set eyes on the area that now bears his name. Boynton hailed from Port Huron, Michigan. He was so impressed by the natural beauty of the year-round sunshine and pristine beaches, he built the famous Boynton Hotel, where he also spent winters with his family. The first settlers, whom Boynton had brought along from Michigan, soon realized that many fruits and vegetables thrived in the fertile climate. Pineapples, tomatoes, mangoes, and citrus fruit were packed in crates and shipped by the ton on the newly-built Florida East Coast Railroad to satisfy the appetites of hungry Americans across the country. Major Boynton died on May 27, 1911 in Port Huron, but the hotel carried through until 1925.
Boynton Beach was originally founded on September 26, 1898 when Byrd Spilman Dewey and her husband filed the original plat in the Dade County courthouse for the Town of Boynton. The town was incorporated in 1920 and was first called "Boynton Beach" by a community that broke off from Boynton in 1931. In 1939 that community changed its name to "Ocean Ridge" while The Town of Boynton took the name "Boynton Beach" in 1941.
In 1926, the Seaboard Air Line Railway entered what was then simply Boynton, spurring land development a mile inland near the Seaboard station, including the town’s first planned subdivision, Lake Boynton Estates. As land became more valuable, areas along the Intracoastal Waterway and the Federal Highway in Boynton also saw housing developments. To the west, many dairies were founded so that the Boynton area became the main milk supplier for Palm Beach County. By the 1970s, the dairies were no longer profitable and these lands too were converted to housing developments.
Hurricane Wilma struck Boynton Beach on Monday, October 24, 2005, causing widespread damage to homes and businesses. In 2006, the city government authorized the demolition of the historic Seaboard rail station, which had survived intact in private hands since passenger service to the station halted in 1971. 2006 also saw an increase in gang-related violent crime. This increase mirrored a similar increase across Palm Beach County. A gang-related shooting at the city’s popular Boynton Beach Mall on Christmas Eve of 2006 caught national attention on many networks, such as CBS. As of 2009, countywide gang violence has fallen three percent. On 27 January 2012 the mayor, Jose Rodriguez, was suspended from office by the state governor for trying to influence a police investigation into his personal affairs.
Palm Beach County, Florida
Palm Beach County is the second largest county in the state of Florida in total area, behind Monroe County, Florida. It also ranks second in land area, with the county being slightly smaller than Collier County. Situated in the Miami metropolitan area and South Florida, Palm Beach County’s modern-day boundaries were established in 1963 – from the Atlantic Ocean westward to Hendry County and from the village of Tequesta southward to the Hillsboro Canal at the city limits of Boca Raton. The largest city and county seat is West Palm Beach. Other large cities include Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, and Jupiter. With 1,356,545 residents, Palm Beach County ranks as third in population in the state of Florida, and twenty-eighth most populous in the United States, as of the 2010 Census.
Named after one of its oldest settlements, Palm Beach, the county was established in 1909, after being split from Miami-Dade County. The area had been increasing in population since the late 19th century, with the incorporation of West Palm Beach in 1894 and after Henry Flagler extended the Florida East Coast Railway and built the Royal Poinciana Hotel, The Breakers, and Whitehall. In 1928, the Okeechobee hurricane struck West Palm Beach and caused thousands of deaths. Since then, a number of other tropical cyclones have impacted the area. More recently, the county acquired national attention during the 2000 presidential election, when a controversial recount occurred. As of 2004, Palm Beach County is Florida’s wealthiest county, with a per capita personal income of $44,518.
Approximately 12,000 years ago, Native Americans began migrating into Florida. The tribes settling in modern day Palm Beach County included the Ais’, Calusas, Jaegas, Mayaimis, and Tequestas. An estimated 20,000 Native Americans lived in South Florida when the Spanish arrived. Their population diminished significantly by the 18th century, due to warfare, enslavement, and diseases from Europe. Among the first non-Native American residents in Palm Beach County were African Americans, many of whom were former slaves or immediate descendants of former slaves who had escaped to the State of Florida from slave plantations located in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Runaway African slaves started coming to what was then Spanish Florida in the late 17th century and they found refuge among the Seminole Native Americans. During the Seminole Wars, these African-American slaves fought with the Seminoles against White settlers and bounty hunters. Portions of the Second Seminole War occurred in Palm Beach County, including the Battle of Jupiter Inlet in 1838.
The oldest surviving structure, the Jupiter Lighthouse, was built in 1860, after receiving authorization to the land from President Franklin Pierce in 1854. Henry Flagler, who made his home in Palm Beach, was instrumental in the county’s development in the early 20th century with the extension of the Florida East Coast Railway through the county from Jacksonville to Key West.
Palm Beach County was created in 1909. It was named for its first settled community, Palm Beach, in turn named for the palm trees and beaches in the area. The County was carved out of what was then the northern portion of Dade County, comprising part of the areas now occupied by Okeechobee and Broward counties, part of Martin and all of Palm Beach county, initially including all of Lake Okeechobee. The southernmost part of Palm Beach County was separated to create the northern portion of Broward County in 1915, the northwestern portion became part of Okeechobee County 1917 and southern Martin County was created from northernmost Palm Beach County in 1925.
Early on September 17, 1928, the Okeechobee hurricane made landfall near West Palm Beach and crossed Lake Okeechobee shortly thereafter. Storm surge left severe damage in the city of Palm Beach, and a death toll of 26. In West Palm Beach, more than 1,711 homes were destroyed. Further inland, wind-driven storm surge in Lake Okeechobee inundated adjacent communities, particularly Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay. Hundreds of square miles were flooded, including some areas with up to 20 feet (6.1 m) of water. Numerous houses were swept away and damaged after crashing into other obstacles. Flood waters did not completely subside for several weeks. At least 2,500 deaths occurred, many of whom were black migrant farmers. Damage in South Florida totaled approximately $25 million (1928 USD). In response to the storm, the Herbert Hoover Dike was constructed to prevent a similar disaster.
Lake Okeechobee had previously overflown in 1926 during the Miami hurricane, though flooding was primarily in Moore Haven in Glades County. As a result of both the Okeechobee and Miami hurricanes, Palm Beach County, along with the rest of South Florida, began suffering economic turmoil and pushed the region into the Great Depression, even before the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Housing prices dropped dramatically in the county, as well as in the rest of the country.
The Palm Beach International Airport, then known as Morrison’s Field, opened in 1936. After the United States entered World War II, it was converted to an Air Force Base in 1942. During the war, thousands of servicemen arrived in Palm Beach County for training and supporting the war effort. Following the conclusion of World War II, a number of veterans returned to the area for work, vacation, or retirement. The base was closed and became a commercial airport again in 1962. Migration to the county by workers, tourists, and retirees continued into the 21st century.
Early on August 28, 1949, a Category 4 hurricane struck West Palm Beach with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h). Sand and debris swept across roads in Palm Beach. Strong winds shattered windows at a car dealership in West Palm Beach and toppled two radio towers, one in Belle Glade and the other in Lake Worth. At the Palm Beach Air Force Base, the storm left at least $1 million (1949 USD) in damage.
A growth in population occurred, exceeding 100,000 during the 1950 United States Census, approximately 114,688 people, and nearly double that by a decade later.
The area’s first television station, WIRK-TV Channel 21, signed on September 13, 1953. It went off the air less than three years later. However, NBC affiliate WPTV-TV and CBS affiliate WPEC first aired in 1954 and 1955, respectively – both of which are still in existence today.
About three-quarters of Lake Okeechobee was removed from Palm Beach County in 1963 and divided up among Glades, Hendry, Martin and Okeechobee counties. This was the final change to the county’s boundaries.
Hurricane David struck near West Palm Beach late on September 3, 1979, with sustained winds of 100 mph (155 km/h); this was the most recent hurricane landfall in Palm Beach County. The storm’s winds shattered windows in stores near the coast and caused property damage, including blowing the frame off the Palm Beach Jai Alai and downing the 186-foot (57-m) WJNO AM radio tower in West Palm Beach into the Intracoastal Waterway. A few roofs were torn off, and numerous buildings were flooded from over 6 inches (150 mm) of rainfall. Damage in the county reached $30 million (1979 USD), most of which was incurred to agriculture.
By 2000, the population of Palm Beach County exceeded 1 million.
The county was the center of controversy during the presidential election. The "butterfly ballot" led to an unexpectedly large number of votes for Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan, rather than for Democrat Al Gore or Republican George W. Bush. Due to the voting tally in Palm Beach County, Bush won the electoral votes for the state of Florida by a margin of 537 out of 5.8 million votes. This victory in turn, gave him the victory in the national election. See the Elections section for more information.
Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, it was revealed that some of the terrorists trained in Palm Beach County, including Ahmed al-Haznawi, Marwan al-Shehhi, Mohamed Atta, and Ziad Jarrah. Later that month, during the anthrax attacks, a letter containing spores of this substance was mailed to the American Media, Inc. building in Boca Raton. Three people were exposed to the anthrax, one of whom later died.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 2,386.33 square miles (6,180.6 km), of which 1,974.11 square miles (5,112.9 km) (or 82.73%) is land (making it the second-largest Florida county by land area, after Collier County) and 412.22 square miles (1,067.6 km) (or 17.27%) is water, much of it in the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Okeechobee. The county has approximately 526,000 acres (213,000 ha) of farmland.
The boundaries of area code 561 exactly match the county’s with 761 reserved for future use. Originally, it was part of area code 305, and later area code 407.
Municipalities and census-designated places
The largest city and county seat is West Palm Beach, with an estimated population of over 105,000. Additionally, the approximate urban population is 250,000, when including adjacent unincorporated neighborhoods. Boca Raton (South County), is the second largest, having a population approaching 90,000. Boynton Beach (South County), is the third largest city, with a population nearing 70,000 residents.
The county has 38 municipalities in total. The municipalities are numbered corresponding to the attached image. Municipality populations are based on the 2010 Census.
Palm Beach County borders Martin County to the North, the Atlantic Ocean to the East, Broward County to the South, Hendry County to the West, and extends into Lake Okeechobee in the Northwest, where it borders Okeechobee County and Glades County at one point in the center of the lake.
US Employment Form
The Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services form. It is used by an employer to verify an employee’s identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) required employers to verify that all newly hired employees present "facially valid" documentation verifying the employee’s identity and legal authorization to accept employment in the United States. The I-9 form or more properly the Employment Eligibility Verification Form is provided by the federal government for that purpose. Every employee hired after November 6, 1986 must complete an I-9 form at the time of hire. Employees must complete Section 1 of the form at the actual beginning of employment. The employer must complete Section 2 within three days of starting work. The employer is responsible for ensuring that the forms are completed properly, and in a timely manner. The I-9 is not required for unpaid volunteers or for contractors. However, a company could still find itself liable if it contracts work to a company knowing that the contractor employs unauthorized workers. On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS published a new I-9 Form. Use of earlier versions of the I-9 form are only acceptable until May 7, 2013. After May 7, 2013, all employers must use the revised I-9 Form. The revised I-9 form requires input from both the employee and employer (or an authorized representative of the employer). Although the new form is largely the same, several lay-out changes were made in order to make the form easier to read and more user-friendly.
If an employee cannot read or cannot write English, a translator or preparer may complete the form and sign it, in addition to the employee’s own signature.
In October 2004, new legislation made it possible to complete the I-9 electronically.
A variety of ID are acceptable for I-9 purposes. The employee must supply either:
One document that establishes both identity and employment eligibility (on List A on the I-9) OR
One document that establishes identity (on List B), together with another document that establishes employment eligibility (on List C)
All documentation must be unexpired as of April 3, 2009
Documents that may be used under "List A" of the I-9 form to establish both identity and employment eligibility include:
Unexpired U.S. Passport
U.S. Passport Card
An unexpired foreign passport with an I-551 stamp, or with Form I-94 attached which indicates an unexpired employment authorization
A Permanent Resident Card (often called a "green card") or Alien Registration Receipt Card with photograph
An Unexpired Temporary Resident Card
An Unexpired Employment Authorization Card
An Unexpired Employment Authorization Document issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security that includes a photograph (Form I-766)
Documents that may be used under "List B" of the I-9 to establish identity include:
Driver’s license or I.D. card issued by a U.S. state or outlying possession of the U.S., provided it contains a photograph or identifying information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address.
Federal or state I.D. card provided it contains a photograph or identifying information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address.
School I.D. with photograph
U.S. Armed Services identification card or draft record
Voter Registration Card
U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
Native American tribal document
Driver’s license issued by a Canadian government authority
For individuals under the age of 18 only, the following documents may be used to establish identity:
School record or report card
Clinic, doctor or hospital record
Day-care or nursery school record
Employees who supply an item from List B must also supply an item from List C
Documents that may be used under "List C" of the I-9 to establish employment eligibility include:
A U.S. Social Security card issued by the Social Security Administration (Note: cards that specify "not valid for employment" are not acceptable.)
A birth certificate issued by the U.S. State Department (Form FS-545 or Form DS-1350) Original or certified copy of a birth certificate from the U.S. or an outlying possession of the U.S., bearing an official seal
A Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
A Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
Native American tribal document
U.S. Citizen I.D. Card (Form I-197)
An I.D. Card for the use of a Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)
An unexpired employment authorization card issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security (other than those included on List A)
U.S. citizens who have lost their social security card can apply for a duplicate at the Social Security Administration.
Employers must update or reverify certain ID documents at or prior to their expiration date. This does not apply to already presented and accepted non-expired US Passports or Permanent Resident Cards when they reach their expiration date, nor to any List B documents, e.g. state driver’s licenses and state ID’s. The USCIS website, in the Employer section, Employer Bulletins, lists the limited requirements and allowed instances for reverification.
U.S. citizens: I-9’s are valid continuously unless a break of more than a year of employment occurs. International employees on F-1 (student), H-1B (specialty occupation), or J-1 (exchange visitor) visas must have their I-9 reverified each time their visa has expired with a new work authorization permit (renewed visa with work authorization, EAD, Permanent Residence Card, etc..).
Employers must retain a Form I-9 for all current employees. Employers must also retain a Form I-9 for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act which introduced the I-9 form also included anti-discrimination provisions. Under the Act, most US citizens, permanent residents, temporary residents or asylee/refugee who are legally allowed to work in the US cannot be discriminated against on the basis of national origin or citizenship status. This provision applies to employers of three or more workers and covers both hiring and termination decisions. In addition, an employer must accept any valid document or combination of documents specified in the I-9 form, as long as the documents appear genuine.
For example, an employer could not refuse to hire a candidate because his I-9 revealed that he was a non-citizen (such as a permanent resident or a refugee) rather than a U.S. citizen. For this reason some immigration lawyers advise companies to avoid requiring an I-9 until a candidate is hired rather than risk a lawsuit. As another example, a company could not insist that an employee provide a passport rather than, say, a driver’s license and social security card.
Another anti-discrimination provision requires that employers must enforce I-9 compliance in a uniform manner. For example, an employer must not require some employees to complete an I-9 before being hired, but allow others to complete the form after starting employment.
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices ("OSC") is a section within the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division that enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"). The OSC can help workers by calling employers and explaining proper verification practices and, when necessary, by providing victims of discrimination with charge forms. Upon receipt of a charge of discrimination, OSC investigations typically take no longer than 7 months. Victims may obtain various types of relief, including job relief and back pay.
OSC also has an extensive outreach program. It provides staff to speak at outreach events throughout the country, and has free informational brochures, posters and tapes for distribution.
Types of Discrimination
The OSC investigates the following types of discriminatory conduct under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b:
Citizenship or immigration status discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee by employers with four or more employees. Employers may not treat individuals differently because they are, or are not, U.S. citizens or work authorized individuals. U.S. citizens, recent permanent residents, temporary residents, asylees and refugees are protected from citizenship status discrimination. Exceptions: permanent residents who do not apply for naturalization within six months of eligibility are not protected from citizenship status discrimination. Citizenship status discrimination which is otherwise required to comply with law, regulation, executive order, or government contract is permissible by law.
National origin discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee, by employers with more than three and fewer than 15 employees. Employers may not treat individuals differently because of their place of birth, country of origin, ancestry, native language, accent, or because they are perceived as looking or sounding "foreign." All U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and work authorized individuals are protected from national origin discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has jurisdiction over employers with 15 or more employees.
Unfair documentary practices related to verifying the employment eligibility of employees. Employers may not request more or different documents than are required to verify employment eligibility, reject reasonably genuine-looking documents, or specify certain documents over others with the purpose or intent of discriminating on the basis of citizenship status or national origin. U.S. citizens and all work authorized individuals are protected from document abuse.
Retaliation. Individuals who file charges with OSC, who cooperate with an OSC investigation, who contest action that may constitute unfair documentary practices or discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status, or national origin, or who assert their rights under the INA’s anti-discrimination provision are protected from retaliation.
The IRCA includes penalties for I-9 noncompliance. According to the I-9 form, "federal law provides for imprisonment and/or fines for false statements or use of false documents in connection with the completion of this form." An employer who hires an unauthorized worker can be fined between $250 and $5,500 per worker. In addition, such an employer can be barred from federal government contracts for a year. An employee who knowingly accepts fraudulent documentation can also be criminally prosecuted under other immigration laws.
An employer who fails to keep proper records that I-9s are properly filed can be fined $110 per missing item for each form, up to $1100 per form, even if the employee is legally authorized to work in the US. Since 2009, ICE has conducted over 7,500 audits and imposed over $80 million in fines. In 2011 alone, ICE conducted 2,740 audits and assessed over $7 million in fines.
An individual who knowingly commits or participates in document fraud may be fined between $375 and $3,200 per document for the first offense, and between $3,200 and $6,500 per document for subsequent offenses.
Immigration is the movement of people into another country or region to which they are not native in order to settle there. Immigration is a result of a number of factors, including economic and/or political reasons, family re-unification, natural disasters or the wish to change one’s surroundings voluntarily.
As of 2006, the International Organization for Migration has estimated the number of foreign migrants worldwide to be more than 200 million. Europe hosted the largest number of immigrants, with 70 million people in 2005. North America, with over 45 million immigrants, is second, followed by Asia, which hosts nearly 25 million. Most of today’s migrant workers come from Asia.
In 2005, the United Nations reported that there were nearly 191 million international migrants worldwide, about 3 percent of the world population. This represented a rise of 26 million since 1990. 60 percent of these immigrants were now in developed countries, an increase on 1990. Those in less developed countries stagnated, mainly because of a fall in refugees. Contrast that to the average rate of globalization (the proportion of cross-border trade in all trade), which exceeds 20 percent. The numbers of people living outside their country of birth is expected to rise in the future.
The Midwestern United States, some parts of Europe, some small areas of Southwest Asia, and a few spots in the East Indies have the highest percentages of immigrant population recorded by the UN Census 2005. The reliability of immigrant censuses is low due to the concealed character of undocumented labor migration.
A 2012 survey by Gallup found roughly 640 million adults would want to migrate to another country if they had the chance to. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of these respondents, which translates to more than 150 million adults worldwide, named the United States as their desired future residence, while an additional 7% of respondents, representing an estimated 45 million, chose the United Kingdom. The other top desired destination countries (those where an estimated 25 million or more adults would like to go) were Canada, France, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Germany and Spain.
Understanding of immigration
One theory of immigration distinguishes between Push and Pull. Push factors refer primarily the motive for immigration from the country of origin. In the case of economic migration (usually labor migration), differentials in wage rates are usual. If the value of wages in the new country surpasses the value of wages in one’s native country, he or she may choose to migrate as long as the costs are not too high. Particularly in the 19th century, economic expansion of the U.S. increased immigrant flow, and in effect, nearly 20% of the population was foreign born versus today’s values of 10%, making up a significant amount of the labor force. Poor individuals from less developed countries can have far higher standards of living in developed countries than in their originating countries. The cost of emigration, which includes both the explicit costs, the ticket price, and the implicit cost, lost work time and loss of community ties, also play a major role in the pull of emigrants away from their native country. As transportation technology improved, travel time and costs decreased dramatically between the 18th and early 20th century. Travel across the Atlantic used to take up to 5 weeks in the 18th century, but around the time of the 20th century it took a mere 8 days.
When the opportunity cost is lower, the immigration rates tend to be higher. Escape from poverty (personal or for relatives staying behind) is a traditional push factor, the availability of jobs is the related pull factor. Natural disasters can amplify poverty-driven migration flows. This kind of migration may be illegal immigration in the destination country.
Emigration and immigration are sometimes mandatory in a contract of employment: religious missionaries, and employees of transnational corporations, international non-governmental organizations and the diplomatic service expect, by definition, to work ‘overseas’. They are often referred to as ‘expatriates’, and their conditions of employment are typically equal to or better than those applying in the host country (for similar work).
For some migrants, education is the primary pull factor (although most international students are not classified as immigrants). Retirement migration from rich countries to lower-cost countries with better climate is a new type of international migration. Examples include immigration of retired British citizens to Spain or Italy and of retired Canadian citizens to the U.S. (mainly to the U.S. states of Florida and Texas).
Non-economic push factors include persecution (religious and otherwise), frequent abuse, bullying, oppression, ethnic cleansing and even genocide, and risks to civilians during war. Political motives traditionally motivate refugee flows—to escape dictatorship for instance.
Some migration is for personal reasons, based on a relationship (e.g. to be with family or a partner), such as in family reunification or transnational marriage (especially in the instance of a gender imbalance). Recent research has found gender, age, and cross-cultural differences in the ownership of the idea to immigrate (for more, click here). In a few cases, an individual may wish to immigrate to a new country in a form of transferred patriotism. Evasion of criminal justice (e.g. avoiding arrest) is a personal motivation. This type of emigration and immigration is not normally legal, if a crime is internationally recognized, although criminals may disguise their identities or find other loopholes to evade detection. There have been cases, for example, of those who might be guilty of war crimes disguising themselves as victims of war or conflict and then pursuing asylum in a different country.
Barriers to immigration come not only in legal form or political form; natural and social barriers to immigration can also be very powerful. Immigrants when leaving their country also leave everything familiar: their family, friends, support network, and culture. They also need to liquidate their assets often at a large loss, and incur the expense of moving. When they arrive in a new country this is often with many uncertainties including finding work, where to live, new laws, new cultural norms, language or accent issues, possible racism and other exclusionary behavior towards them and their family. These barriers act to limit international migration (scenarios where populations move en masse to other continents, creating huge population surges, and their associated strain on infrastructure and services, ignore these inherent limits on migration.)
The politics of immigration have become increasingly associated with other issues, such as national security, terrorism, and in Western Europe especially, with the presence of Islam as a new major religion. Those with security concerns cite the 2005 civil unrest in France that point to the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy as an example of the value conflicts arising from immigration of Muslims in Western Europe. Because of all these associations, immigration has become an emotional political issue in many European nations.
Studies have suggested that some special interest groups lobby for less immigration for their own group and more immigration for other groups since they see effects of immigration, such as increased labor competition, as detrimental when affecting their own group but beneficial when impacting other groups. A 2010 European study suggested that "that employers are more likely to be pro-immigration than employees, provided that immigrants are thought to compete with employees who are already in the country. Or else, when immigrants are thought to compete with employers rather than employees, employers are more likely to be anti-immigration than employees." A 2011 study examining the voting of US representatives on migration policy suggests that "that representatives from more skilled labor abundant districts are more likely to support an open immigration policy towards the unskilled, whereas the opposite is true for representatives from more unskilled labor abundant districts."
Another contributing factor may be lobbying by earlier immigrants. The Chairman for the US Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform which lobby for more permissive rules for immigrants, as well as special arrangements just for Irish, has stated that "the Irish Lobby will push for any special arrangement it can get — ‘as will every other ethnic group in the country.’"
Region-specific factors for immigration
As a principle, citizens of one member nation of the European Union are allowed to work in other member nations with little to no restriction on movement. This is aided by the EURES network which brings together the European Commission and the public employment services of the countries belonging to the European Economic Area and Switzerland. For non-EU-citizen permanent residents in the EU, movement between EU-member states is considerably more difficult. After 155 new waves of accession to the European Union, earlier members have often introduced measures to restrict participation in "their" labor markets by citizens of the new EU-member states. For instance, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain each restricted their labor market for up to seven years both in the 2004 and 2007 round of accession.
Due to the European Union’s—in principle—single internal labor market policy, countries such as Italy and the Republic of Ireland that have seen relatively low levels of labor immigration until recently (and which have often sent a significant portion of their population overseas in the past) are now seeing an influx of immigrants from EU countries with lower per capita annual earning rates, triggering nationwide immigration debates. Spain, meanwhile, is seeing growing illegal immigration from Africa. As Spain is the closest EU member nation to Africa—Spain even has two autonomous cities (Ceuta and Melilla) on the African continent, as well as an autonomous community (the Canary Islands) west of North Africa, in the Atlantic—it is physically easiest for African emigrants to reach. This has led to debate both within Spain and between Spain and other EU members. Spain has asked for border control assistance from other EU states; the latter have responded that Spain has brought the wave of African illegal migrants on itself by granting amnesty to hundreds of thousands of undocumented foreigners.
The United Kingdom, France and Germany have seen major immigration since the end of World War II and have been debating the issue for decades. Foreign workers were brought in to those countries to help rebuild after the war, and many stayed. Political debates about immigration typically focus on statistics, the immigration law and policy, and the implementation of existing restrictions. In some European countries the debate in the 1990s was focused on asylum seekers, but restrictive policies within the European Union, as well as a reduction in armed conflict in Europe and neighboring regions, have sharply reduced asylum seekers.
Some states, such as Japan, have opted for technological changes to increase profitability (for example, greater automation), and designed immigration laws specifically to prevent immigrants from coming to, and remaining within, the country. Globalization, as well as low birth rates and an aging work force, has forced Japan to reconsider its immigration policy. Japan’s colonial past has also created considerable number of non-Japanese in Japan. Japan keeps tight control on immigration and in 2009, despite generous overseas aid for refugees, granted political asylum to just 30 people. Japanese Minister Taro Aso described Japan as unique in being "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture and one race".
In the United States political debate on immigration has flared repeatedly since the US became independent. Some on the far-left of the political spectrum attribute anti-immigration rhetoric to an all-"white", under-educated and parochial minority of the population, ill-educated about the relative advantages of immigration for the US economy and society. While those on the far-right think that immigration threatens national identity, as well as cheapening labor and increasing dependence on welfare.
The term economic migrant refers to someone who has emigrated from one region to another region for the purposes of seeking employment or improved financial position. An economic migrant is distinct from someone who is a refugee fleeing persecution.
Many countries have immigration and visa restrictions that prohibit a person entering the country for the purposes of gaining work without a valid work visa. Persons who are declared an economic migrant can be refused entry into a country.
The process of allowing immigrants into a particular country has been believed to have effects on wages and employment. Particularly the lower skilled workers are affected directly, but evidence suggests that this is due to adjustments within industries.
The World Bank estimates that remittances totaled $420 billion in 2009, of which $317 billion went to developing countries.
Treatment of migrants in host countries, both by governments, employers, and original population, is a topic of continual debate and criticism, as many cases of abuse and violation of rights are being reported frequently. Some countries have developed a particularly notorious reputation regarding treatment of migrants. The United Nations Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, has been ratified but by 20 states, all of which are heavy exporters of cheap labor. With the sole exception of Serbia, none of the signatories are western countries, but all are from Asia, South America, and North Africa. Arab states of the Persian Gulf, which are known for receiving millions of migrant workers, have not signed the treaty as well. Although freedom of movement is often recognized as a civil right in many documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the freedom only applies to movement within national borders: it may be guaranteed by the constitution or by human rights legislation. Additionally, this freedom is often limited to citizens and excludes others.
No sovereign state currently allows full freedom of movement across its borders, except Uruguay, and international human rights treaties do not confer a general right to enter another state. Proponents of immigration maintain that, according to Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to leave or enter a country, along with movement within it (internal migration), although article 13 actually restricts freedom of movement to "within the borders of each state." Additionally, the UDHR does not mention entry into other countries when it states that "everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." Some argue that the freedom of movement both within and between countries is a basic human right, and that the restrictive immigration policies, typical of nation-states, violate this human right of freedom of movement. Such arguments are common among anti-state ideologies like anarchism and libertarianism. As philosopher and "Open Borders" activist Jacob Appel has written, "Treating human beings differently, simply because they were born on the opposite side of a national boundary, is hard to justify under any mainstream philosophical, religious or ethical theory." However, Article 14 does provide that "everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."
Where immigration is permitted, it is typically selective. Family reunification accounts for approximately two-thirds of legal immigration to the US every year. Ethnic selection, such as the White Australia policy, has generally disappeared, but priority is usually given to the educated, skilled, and wealthy. Less privileged individuals, including the mass of poor people in low-income countries, cannot avail themselves of the legal and protected immigration opportunities offered by wealthy states. This inequality has also been criticized as conflicting with the principle of equal opportunities, which apply (at least in theory) within democratic nation-states. The fact that the door is closed for the unskilled, while at the same time many developed countries have a huge demand for unskilled labor, is a major factor in illegal immigration. The contradictory nature of this policy—which specifically disadvantages the unskilled immigrants while exploiting their labor—has also been criticized on ethical grounds.
Immigration policies which selectively grant freedom of movement to targeted individuals are intended to produce a net economic gain for the host country. They can also mean net loss for a poor donor country through the loss of the educated minority—the brain drain. This can exacerbate the global inequality in standards of living that provided the motivation for the individual to migrate in the first place. One example of competition for skilled labor is active recruitment of health workers from the Third World by First World countries.
Immigration and Western social values
Many commentators have raised the issue that immigrants from certain cultures who move into Western countries may not be able to understand and assimilate certain Western concepts, that are relatively alien in some parts of the world, especially related to women’s rights, domestic violence, LGBT rights and the supremacy of secular laws in front of religious practices. For instance, in many parts of the world it is legal and socially accepted for men to use physical violence against their wives if they "misbehave"; and wives are expected, both legally and socially, to "obey" their husbands. Various behaviors of women, such as refusing arranged marriages or having premarital sex, are seen in many parts of the world as justifying violence from family members (parents). A 2010 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that stoning as a punishment for adultery was supported by 82% of respondents in Egypt and Pakistan, 70% in Jordan, 56% Nigeria, 42% in Indonesia; the death penalty for people who leave the Muslim religion was supported by 86% of respondents in Jordan, 84% in Egypt and 76% in Pakistan; gender segregation in the workplace was supported by 85% of respondents in Pakistan, 54% in Egypt, 50% in Jordan. Some people argue that Western countries have worked very hard and for a very long time to achieve modern values, and they have the right to maintain these values, and protect them from threats. In 2007, Quebec premier Jean Charest said that Quebec had values such as equality of women and men and the separation between the state and religion and that "These values are fundamental. They cannot be the object of any accommodation. They cannot be subordinated to any other principle. In recent years, several high profile cases of honor killings, forced marriages and female genital mutilation among immigrant communities in Canada, the US and Europe have reignited the debate on immigration and integration. LGBT rights are another issue of controversy in relation to immigration, because homosexuality is in many parts of the world illegal and widely disapproved by society, and in some places it is even punishable by death (see sodomy laws and LGBT rights by country or territory). Some countries, such as the Netherlands, have adopted policies which explain to immigrants that they have to accept LGBT rights if they want to move to the country.
Historians estimate that fewer than 1 million immigrants – perhaps as few as 400,000 – crossed the Atlantic during the 17th and 18th centuries. Relatively few 18th-century immigrants came from England: only 80,000 between 1700 and 1775, compared to 350,000 during the 17th century. In addition, between the 17th and 19th centuries, an estimated 645,000 Africans were brought to what is now the United States. In the early years of the United States, immigration was fewer than 8,000 people a year. After 1820, immigration gradually increased. From 1850 to 1930, the foreign born population of the United States increased from 2.2 million to 14.2 million. The highest percentage of foreign born people in the United States was found in this period, with the peak in 1890 at 14.7%. During this time, the lower costs of Atlantic Ocean travel in time and fare made it more advantageous for immigrants to move to the U.S. than in years prior. From 1880 to 1924, over 25 million Europeans migrated to the United States, mainly economic migrants. The 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act meanwhile suppressed immigration from East Asia, while the Emergency Quota Act, followed by the Immigration Act of 1924, restricted immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe.
Following this time period, immigration fell because in 1924 Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1924, which favored immigrant source countries that already had many immigrants in the U.S. by 1890. Immigration patterns of the 1930s were dominated by the Great Depression, and in the early 1930s, more people emigrated from the United States than immigrated to it. Immigration continued to fall throughout the 1940s and 1950s, but it increased again afterwards.
Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 or McCarran-Walter Act brought in major changes to immigration policy and the act removed the immigration restrictions based on race and gender, ending the decades of repression levied upon Chinese immigrants and other Asian immigrant groups. The McCarran-Walter act retained national origin immigration quotas.
The Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965 (the Hart-Cellar Act) removed quotas on large segments of the immigration flow and legal immigration to the U.S. surged. In 2006, the number of immigrants totaled record 37.5 million. After 2000, immigration to the United States numbered approximately 1,000,000 per year. Despite tougher border security after 9/11, nearly 8 million immigrants came to the United States from 2000 to 2005 – more than in any other five-year period in the nation’s history. Almost half entered illegally. In 2006, 1.27 million immigrants were granted legal residence. Mexico has been the leading source of new U.S. residents for over two decades; and since 1998, China, India and the Philippines have been in the top four sending countries every year. The U.S. has often been called the "melting pot" (derived from Carl N. Degler, a historian, author of Out of Our Past), a name derived from United States’ rich tradition of immigrants coming to the US looking for something better and having their cultures melded and incorporated into the fabric of the country.
Appointed by President Clinton, the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, led by Barbara Jordan, called for reducing legal immigration to about 550,000 a year. Since September 11, 2001, the politics of immigration has become an extremely hot issue. It was a central topic of the 2008 election cycle.
The number of foreign nationals who became legal permanent residents (LPRs) of the U.S. in 2009 as a result of family reunification (66 percent) outpaced those who became LPRs on the basis of employment skills (13 percent) and humanitarian reasons (17 percent). Since World War II, more refugees have found homes in the U.S. than any other nation and more than two million refugees have arrived in the U.S. since 1980. Of the top ten countries accepting resettled refugees in 2006, the United States accepted more than twice as much as the next nine countries combined. One econometrics report in 2010 by analyst Kusum Mundra suggested that immigration positively affected bilateral trade when the U.S. had a networked community of immigrants, but that the trade benefit was weakened when the immigrants became assimilated into American culture.
The Cato Institute finds little or no effect of immigration on the income of citizens belonging to established populations. The Brookings Institution finds a 2.3% depression of wages from immigration from 1980 to 2007. The Center for Immigration Studies finds a 3.7% depression wages from immigration from 1980 to 2000. Research indicates that immigrants are more likely to work in risky jobs than U.S.-born workers, partly due to differences in average characteristics, such as immigrants’ lower English language ability and educational attainment. Further, some studies indicate that higher ethnic concentration in metropolitan areas is positively related to the probability of self-employment of immigrants.
According to the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, "In Europe, 28% of foreigners between the ages of 25 and 49 are unable to find work, with unemployment rates as high as 35% for Turks and Pakistanis and 60% for recent immigrant groups such as Somalis."
Toronto’s unemployment rate was 6.7% in November 2010, including 19.7% among recent immigrants.
Research has found that that as immigration and ethnic heterogeneity increase, government funding of welfare and public support for welfare decrease. Ethnic nepotism may be an explanation for this phenomenon. Other possible explanations include theories regarding in-group and out-group effects as well as reciprocal altruism.
Permanent residence – United States
United States lawful permanent residency is the immigration status of a person authorized to live and work in the United States of America permanently.
A United States Permanent Resident Card (USCIS Form I-551), formerly Alien Registration Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (INS Form I-151), is an identification card attesting to the permanent resident status of an alien in the United States. It is known informally as a green card because it had been green from 1946 until 1964, and it has reverted to that color since May 2010. Green card also refers to an immigration process of becoming a permanent resident. The green card serves as proof that its holder, a lawful permanent resident (LPR), has been officially granted immigration benefits, which include permission to reside and take employment in the United States. The holder must maintain permanent resident status, and can be removed from the United States if certain conditions of this status are not met.
Green cards were formerly issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. No. 107–296, 116 Stat. 2135) dismantled INS and separated the former agency into three components within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The first, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handles applications for immigration benefits. Two other agencies were created to oversee the INS’ former functions of immigration enforcement: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), respectively.
Permanent residents of the United States eighteen years of age or older must carry their valid physical green card itself at all times. Failing to do so is a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act, carrying the possibility of a fine up to $100 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days for each offense. Only the federal government can impose these penalties.
Reading a permanent resident card
Most of the information on the card is self-evident. The computer and human readable signature at the bottom is not. The format is (digit range: expected data (information contained)):
1–2: C1 or C2. C1 = Resident within the Uni