As a citizen of the United States, you have the right to vote, run for office, and also hold a position in federal jobs. While the undocumented persons in the US do not have these rights still the 14th Amendment of the Constitution grant certain rights to them in the US. And these rights are applicable irrespective of the citizenship or visa status of the undocumented persons.
Legal Rights for Undocumented Persons in the United States
The list is quite exhaustive. So here we are mentioning the 10 prominent legal rights that undocumented persons in the United States should know about.
1. Trial By Jury
The 6th Amendment of the US constitution allows any person in the country the right to a trial by jury in connection with a criminal offense. The Amendment states, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”
2. A Miranda Warning
The right for a Miranda Warning is a statement granted to undocumented criminal suspects in the custody of the police. The warnings may vary from state to state but in general, it provides the suspect the right to stay unresponsive to police interrogation and also to ask for an attorney during the questioning.
3. Defending Yourself Against Deportation and Charges
One of the legal rights for undocumented persons in the United States allows you to hire a lawyer who will defend you against deportation and other charges in front of the judge. But it is not mandatory for the government to provide a free attorney to represent such undocumented persons in the case of immigration proceedings.
4. Representation in Criminal Court
A person can get a state-funded public defender if his case is in criminal court. But if the case is in immigration court, this privilege does not apply as the right is restricted only for criminal court. Immigration proceedings however take in civil courts where this right is not applicable.
5. Protection Against Unlawful Seizures and Searches
Similar to US citizens, undocumented persons in the United States can live freely in the country. Importantly, they enjoy all the lawful protection that is available to everyone in the country. And it includes protection from the property being seized or searched without any warrant or probable cause.
6. Protection Against Self-incrimination
As an undocumented person in the US, you get protection from self-incrimination. It means you are not expected to be a witness against yourself or being deprived of property, liberty, or life without any proceedings.
7. Filing Civil Lawsuits
One of the legal rights for undocumented persons in the United States allows them to file a case in the federal court especially in connection with discrimination. Some states also offer such persons the right to sue in their state court.
8. Getting Payment for Work
As a rule, an employer is not allowed to employ an undocumented worker. But in the case, the employer does hire such a person irrespective of his legal status they receive protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act makes it mandatory for the employer to pay such undocumented workers for the work they have done.
9. Right to Safe, Healthy, Nondiscriminatory Work Environment
Undocumented workers have the right to ask for a workplace that is free of harassment and offers a safe, healthy, and nondiscriminatory work environment. If the conditions are not as expected then these workers can file their complaints with the appropriate authorities.
10. Organizing or Forming a Union
According to the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act all workers, including undocumented immigrants have the right to form unions or organize unions to ensure better pay and working conditions.