A Brief Introduction to Immigration Protections and Rights

The majority of visitors who come to the United States for a short or long-term stay might find most of the legislative issues rather confusing. They actually do not have a clear vision of what immigration rights and protections they have. It does not matter if you are a U.S. citizen or not, you can still count on some privileges provided by the Constitution of the United States. We have highlighted some of the state grant protections from driving privileges to conditions for temporary workers.

May Immigrants Get a Driving License in the United States

Do Immigrants Have a Right to Vote?

Most immigrants who are not U.S. citizens hardly know that they actually have a right to vote in most cases. The Federal and State elections are the only exception. Those are for US-based residents only. However, immigrants have a right to take part in local elections. Most of them allow a so-called non-citizen voting procedure. All you need is to meet some basic requirements and to be over 18. Those requirements may differ from state to state. Dual citizenship lets you take part in the federal elections as well.

May Immigrants Get a Driving License in the United States?

Some of them may. The procedure is under the control of the state authorities and laws. They define groups of immigrants who have a right to obtain a driving license without having a U.S. citizenship. They include:

  • Undocumented immigrants (only in several states like Illinois, Washington, and New Mexico);
  • DACA granted immigrants;
  • Immigrants holding Green Cards;
  • Foreign visitors who have a valid long-term visa.

What Rights Does a Tourist or Student Visa Provide?

Visitors with tourist and student visas can benefit from protections and rights ONLY when they are located within the U.S. borders. As a rule, you take the advantage of the same list of rights and protections as U.S. citizens. They include protection from any kind of violence, discrimination, and sex trafficking. They have a right to obtain a fair salary and more. The only exception is that student visa holders cannot apply for a driving license.

Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers

The US boasts an advanced legislative system with numerous rights and protections for temporary workers. State authorities do their best to prevent the slightest risk of human trafficking. Basically, temporary workers have a right to:

  • Get a fair salary;
  • Get a safe workplace;
  • Leave an abusive place of work;
  • Turn to the immigration lawyer in case of rights violations;
  • Be protected from discrimination and exploitation.