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The Immigration Reform And Control Act

The Immigration Reform And Control Act

In recent decades, illegal immigration has become an increasingly complicated concern. It is estimated that there are over 13 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States, without proper documentation. This has the ability to threaten the security of the United States, as dangerous individuals can enter into the country. In an effort to more effectively document the immigrants that enter into the United States and to prevent illegal immigrants from entering the country, a number of different immigrant reform acts have been passed. If you fall into a difficult situation find an immigration lawyer.

One of the most notable of these acts was the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. This legislation made it illegal for individuals to recruit or hire illegal immigrants. It also required employers to document the immigration status of all employees and began granting amnesty to specific illegal immigrants. In addition, the 1986 act sought to legalize certain agricultural workers, who have continuously resided in the country since January, 1982.

Since the establishment of this legislation, different reforms have occurred. The most recent was the Immigration Reform 2009. This legislation is more commonly known as the Stronger Economy, Stronger Borders Act of 2009. This bill was not only concerned with strengthening and protecting the country’s economy, but also sought to amplify border patrol to diminish the number of illegal immigrants entering into the United States. This legislation also imposed more rigid employment enforcement, which makes it more difficult for illegal immigrants to find work.

Introduction: The Purpose of the Immigration Reform and Control Act

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) is a federal law that was passed in 1986 with the purpose of addressing illegal immigration in the United States. This landmark legislation established guidelines for employers to verify the identity and immigration status of their employees and created a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who had been living in the country for a certain period of time.

Employer Compliance

Under the IRCA, employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees hired after November 6, 1986. The process of verifying an employee’s immigration status involves completing Form I-9, which requires the employee to provide documentation such as a passport or driver’s license and a Social Security card.

Employers must keep Form I-9 on file for each employee and are subject to penalties if they fail to comply with the requirements of the IRCA. These penalties can include fines and even criminal prosecution in some cases.

Path to Citizenship

The IRCA also established a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who had been living in the United States continuously since before January 1, 1982. These individuals were allowed to apply for legal status, which would eventually lead to citizenship, if they met certain criteria such as passing a background check, demonstrating knowledge of the English language and U.S. history, and paying a fee.

This part of the IRCA had a significant impact on the immigration landscape in the United States, with approximately 2.7 million undocumented immigrants becoming legal residents through the program.

Impact of the IRCA

The IRCA was a major step forward in the efforts to reform immigration in the United States. It provided a framework for ensuring that employers were hiring employees who were authorized to work in the country and created an opportunity for undocumented immigrants to obtain legal status and eventually citizenship.

However, the IRCA also had some unintended consequences. Some critics argue that it led to an increase in undocumented immigration due to the perception that it offered a path to citizenship, even for those who did not meet the eligibility requirements.

Conclusion: The Ongoing Debate over Immigration Reform

The IRCA remains a significant landmark in the history of immigration reform in the United States. While it helped establish guidelines for employer compliance and provided a path to citizenship for eligible undocumented immigrants, it also highlights the ongoing debate over how to address illegal immigration in the country. The IRCA serves as a reminder of the complex and sensitive nature of the immigration issue and the need for ongoing efforts to reform the system and find solutions that work for all stakeholders involved.