For a country that was founded on immigration, there are a lot of rules and regulations that restrict and control immigration into the United States. These rules and regulations are getting more complicated by the fact that many cities, counties and states are passing their own laws concerning the status of immigrants, both legal and illegal, in their jurisdictions. The complex legal situation is made even more difficult because many immigrants have limited second language capabilities in English, and most law enforcement personnel in this country have no second language capabilities in any language. While there are many charitable organizations that help immigrants, sooner or later the immigrant to this country, legal or otherwise, is going to need the assistance of a lawyer well versed in Immigration Law.
Because of the limited number of legal immigrants allowed into this country every year, the first person who should consider getting an Immigration Lawyer is the person starting the legal immigration process. While a lawyer is not required by law in this process, a lawyer can help to get the paperwork filled out correctly and completely. Incorrectly filled out paperwork, or incomplete data on the initial paperwork will not necessarily result in denial of the application, but it is sure to get it delayed. Additionally, the Immigration Lawyer would be able to advise the potential immigrant of the appropriate status to apply for to increase their chance of getting one of the limited number of approvals.
In an ideal world a legal immigrant to this country, in possession of an up to date, valid Green Card, should not need the services of an Immigration Attorney until renewal time rolls around. Unfortunately, there is an increasing under current of hostility in this country towards illegal immigrants that frequently catches the legal immigrant up in its flow. It is probably a good idea for every legal immigrant in this country to have the business card of a local Immigration Lawyer in their wallet next to their Green Card at all times. This way if any law enforcement officer of any jurisdiction has problems with the suspected status of a legal resident alien, the attorney can be contacted immediately to help resolve the issue.
There is an old saying in the American legal community; anyone who acts as their own lawyer has an idiot for a client. This is especially true in immigration law. Any time a legal immigrant has anything to do with any part of the American Legal system; they need to contact an Immigration Lawyer to protect their legal status. A good Immigration Lawyer will refer the individual to a lawyer of the appropriate discipline to deal with non-immigration issues, but will stay involved in the case to assist in areas where the case impacts on the immigrantís status.
Finally, anytime that an illegal immigrant comes into contact with any law enforcement officer, for what ever reason, an Immigration Lawyer should be contacted as soon as possible. This is especially true if the illegal has a child that was born in this country, thus making that child a citizen of the United States. While the lawyer may not be able to stop the deportation process in every case where it is being considered, nothing will stop it if there is no lawyer involved to argue the case.