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If you have ever taken a civics class in high school, then you have learned about the constitutional rights of United States citizens. Did you know that non-citizens who are present in the United States also have constitutional rights? Some of these rights even apply to undocumented immigrants, that is, people who are staying in the United States for an extended period even though they do not have an official immigration status or the documentation to show it, such as a permanent resident card (“green card”) or student visa. Most importantly, undocumented immigrants have the right to be parties to a lawsuit and to engage the legal services of an attorney to represent them.


What the Constitution Says About Court Cases Involving Undocumented Immigrants

Undocumented immigrants in the United States have the right to file lawsuits and to defend themselves when others file claims against them. Doing so does not automatically increase their risk of being deported. This right proceeds from the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the right to due process to “all persons” in the United States, not only United States Citizens. Due process includes, among other things, the right to plead your case in front of an impartial judge and the right to legal representation by an attorney.  In fact, even people who are not present in the United States can file lawsuits in U.S. courts if the U.S. courts have jurisdiction in the matter; for example, someone who lives in another country but owns property in the U.S. should use the U.S. court system to resolve legal disputes related to that property.


Do Not Let Fear of Deportation Stop You from Seeking Justice

court, immigrants, judge, immigration, deportationsIt is a misconception that being an undocumented immigrant means staying hidden at all times lest someone find out that you are in the U.S. and deport you. Many people have lived in the U.S. for years without documented immigration status; undocumented immigrants work, attend school, and pay taxes in the United States. In fact, male undocumented immigrants between the ages of 18 and 25 can and should register with the Selective Service. You have a greater chance of being deported if you do not register than if you do.

If an undocumented immigrant files a lawsuit in a United States court, even if it comes to the judge’s attention that one of the parties to the lawsuit is undocumented, it is not automatic grounds for deportation. In fact, for an undocumented immigrant to be deported, there has to be a specific reason for deportation. In other words, you still have access to the courts in the United States, even if you do not have documented immigration status.


Contact Eric Schmidt About Personal Injury Cases

Undocumented immigrants who suffer injuries in the United States have the right to receive medical care. If the injury was the result of negligence on the part of a person or business entity, undocumented immigrants have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party and to be awarded damages. Contact Eric Schmidt in Phoenix, Arizona about your personal injury case, even if you are undocumented.

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