Just Because You Came To The U.S. Undocumented Does Not Mean You Have No Rights

If you came to this country without the proper documentation to do so, you know you run the risk of being deported back to  your home country even if you do not commit a crime. However, it does not mean you have no legal rights while you are here. The important thing is to talk with an immigration attorney as soon as you may be involved in a legal situation regarding your rights. Here are just a few of the rights you have under the U.S. Constitution.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Your immigration status does not come into play if you are ever committed of a crime or involved in a legal civil suit. You still have the right to defend yourself and to have a trial before being found guilty. Since your undocumented status will undoubtedly come to light during all the proceedings, you will want to be sure to have an immigration attorney representing you. He or she can also prepare a defense against your removal from the country once the legal matter has been resolved. Depending on how long you have been in the country, the outcome of the criminal trial, and if you have family members who are residents or citizens, you may be allowed to stay in the country and apply for an adjustment of your immigration status.

Employment Rights

The idea that undocumented immigrants have any employment rights seems odd because legally they cannot work. However, if you have somehow managed to obtain employment, you are still granted the same rights as any other employee. You have the right to receive regular pay and must be paid at least the minimum wage set by the state where you work. In addition, you have the right to a safe workplace and do not need to endure sexual harassment or any type of discrimination based on your gender, religion, race, or nationality. An immigration attorney may be able to talk with your employer and set things right for you without the need to bring any legal action into play.

If any of your rights are being violated, it is important that you contact an experienced lawyer. He or she will know how to proceed in a manner that may keep you from having to go through a deportation hearing. A lawyer may also be able to draw things out so you have time to prepare the proper documentation to receive a green card. Don't let the fear of being deported keep you from asserting your rights.

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