- Stay out of trouble with the law. Certain criminal activities will automatically result in police reporting you to immigration authorities. Also, convictions for some crimes will certainly make it harder to get legal status in the future, if not downright impossible. Some offenses, even minor ones, can result in your deportation.
- Never present yourself as US citizen, and do not vote in any Federal, State, or even local elections in the United States. This can make you ineligible to legitimize your status in the future (if you qualify), or even get you deported.
- Don’t cross the border. If you are in the US out of status (or illegally), you are not free to travel across the border. If you leave the country, you may not be able to legally re-enter the U.S.
- If you are working illegally, you are still expected to pay taxes. This will improve your chances of legitimizing your status (if you qualify) in the future.
- Do not have a child in the US solely to derive immigration benefit. Having a child will not immediately help you become legal. A U.S. citizen-child can only help its parent get papers if the child is over 21 years old.
* An undocumented alien, also known as “illegal immigrant” is a person who is not a citizen of the U.S. and who does not have lawful immigration status in the U.S. All aliens, even those who have a green card (resident aliens) are subject to immigration laws and can potentially face deportation (formally known as removal).