Shady Lawyer

The International Law Firm for Business

Immigration Laws in Missouri

3 min read
nc efi placeholder

Immigration laws in Missouri impact the lives of millions of people across the country. A Missouri immigration attorney can help you through the complex process of obtaining a green card or citizenship.

State rules can affect many aspects of life for immigrants, including employment verification, access to drivers’ licenses, eligibility for in-state tuition and state benefits. This map analyzes state policies ranging from sanctuary policies to anti-sanctuary measures, E-Verify requirements and restrictions on public benefits for non-citizens.

Immigration and Nationality Act

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (also known as the Hart-Celler Act) was a landmark federal law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The act eliminated the national origins quota system, which had been the dominant immigration policy in the United States for more than half a century.

The change was a victory for the civil rights movement and progressive reformers who advocated open-door immigration policies and an end to ethnic quotas. The bill also consolidated family reunification and other programs to create a “road map” to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, who could earn lawful permanent residency after five years of contributing to their communities, passing criminal background checks and paying taxes.

Conservatives allied with the ornery chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, Rep. Michael Feighan, and persuaded him to agree to a last-minute compromise that gave priority to those with existing relatives in the United States. They argued the move would preserve America’s Anglo-Saxon European character. Feighan agreed, and the bill became law. In the decades that followed, a number of laws addressed refugee policies and other issues related to immigration. Many of these policies were controversial and reaffirmed the nation’s traditional preference for European immigrants, while others favored other nations over Europe.

Refugee Policy

Since the first airlift of refugees in 1975, Missouri has welcomed people forced to flee their homes and communities because of war, poverty, famine or other crises. Many of these individuals have been resettled in Missouri by the federal government through the Office of Refugee Resettlement and Catholic Charities.

Refugees and asylees undergo intensive security screenings in a process that takes 18 to 24 months. Once conditionally approved for resettlement, they are guided through medical screenings, cultural orientation, sponsorship assurances and more.

After a year in the United States, refugees can apply to become permanent residents and eventually citizenship five years later. As permanent residents, refugees can work legally, attend public schools free of charge and join certain branches of the armed forces.

Migrants often move to the United States for a variety of reasons, including economic opportunity, family reunion, or educational access. This hearing examines the complex issues that face migrants and how to develop fair policies to address them.

Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1990

A landmark act of the United States Congress enacted in 1986, this law granted legal status and work authorization to millions of unauthorized immigrants and imposed sanctions on employers who hired them. It also reformed naturalization laws, increased refugee admissions and established a system for the screening of prospective immigrants and refugees.

Increases criminal fines and penalties for a variety of violations, including attempting to enter the country illegally and concealment of aliens. Expands the definition of aggravated felony to include drug trafficking offenses, and increases from ten to 20 years the bar against reentry for aliens convicted of such offenses. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 through 1995 for 20 additional immigration judges to handle deportation proceedings involving such criminal aliens.

Requires the Attorney General to establish a program to distribute information on benefits of citizenship, and authorizes appropriations for such purpose. Amends INS regulations to permit the granting of asylum and adjustment of status to certain former asylees whose testimony establishes a well-founded fear of persecution on account of their activities in student organizations, or for other reasons, if they meet certain conditions. Increases per country ceilings for the number of immigrant visas available for family-sponsored and employment-based preferences, and makes other technical changes.