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Alaska State Immigration Laws

Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of Alaska's rules related to immigration law. Here you can find helpful information related to immigration status for:

  • U.S. citizens
  • Green card holders
  • Family members who are lawful permanent residents
  • Nonimmigrants
  • People living in the U.S. illegally

The U.S. federal government writes and enforces immigration laws. But, states may still put in place rules to discourage coming to the United States without proper documentation. For example, many states bar people living in the U.S. illegally from getting certain public services.

A handful of states have passed much stricter laws directing law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. Many of those provisions have been successfully challenged in immigration court. This is a rapidly changing area of law. For example, states are passing new laws, and the courts are ruling on programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Below, you will find information on Alaska's rules about the following:

Make sure to do more research to ensure that the law has not changed. For more information, you can also contact an immigration attorney for legal advice. There are also nonprofit organizations that offer services to the immigrant population.

Law Enforcement and Immigration in Alaska

Secure Communities was a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program. It identified noncitizens in custody.

Secure Communities was created by the 2017 Executive Order 13768, issued under the Trump administration. But the Biden administration revoked this executive order in January 2021.

Before its revocation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had an information-sharing mechanism. Under this initiative, the FBI shared the fingerprints of people arrested with the DHS. This sharing of data allowed verification of the person's immigration status. Upon checking, the person appeared as living in the U.S. illegally, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would take law enforcement actions.

Employment and Immigration

Refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules and the requirements for Form I-9.

Alaska E-Verify Requirements

There is no rule to use E-Verify for checking employees' status.

Driver's License/ID Requirements

Must show proof of citizenship, legal residence, and a valid Social Security card.

Public Benefits Restrictions

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (PRWORA) blocks people living in the U.S. illegally from accessing federal benefits. Some benefits that people living in the U.S. illegally cannot access include:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

But they can get emergency services, health care, and other necessary programs to protect life and safety.

Education Checks

Alaska has no state policy allowing in-state tuition for students living in the U.S. illegally, including those under DACA status.

Voting ID Rules

Voters must present identification at the polling place, not necessarily with a photo. Examples include:

  • A signed voter ID card
  • Driver's license
  • Utility bill with the voter's name and current address

Voters without a valid ID may vote only if an election official at the polling place personally knows the person and can verify their identity.

Housing Ordinances and Immigration

A person's right and responsibilities related to the Fair Housing Act is not affected by their immigration status. According to the Fair Housing Act (FHA), discrimination based on immigration status in house rental, sale, and financing is illegal. Although local laws can provide more or less protections, the FHA bans discrimination. This applies regardless of local ordinances or state laws. It's important to remember that issues related to immigration law can co-mingle with other social issues. This includes human trafficking and domestic violence.

Related Resources

  • Know Your Rights — Guide to protecting yourself and your family during immigration raids (PDF, CASA of Maryland, and other organizations).
  • Immigration and Naturalization Operations in Alaska — Information about immigration enforcement in Alaska (University of Alaska Anchorage)
  • Alaska Law — FindLaw provides an extensive guide to rules and regulations enforced in Alaska. The website covers various areas of law, such as immigration law, criminal law, family law, and more.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — A Department of Homeland Security agency supervising naturalization and immigration services. It gives services related to Immigration law, such as processing U.S. Citizenship, Immigration, and working in the U.S.

Learn About Your Rights as an Immigrant in Alaska: Contact a Lawyer

Whether in Juneau, Fairbanks, or anywhere else, if you have an immigration issue in Alaska, it is best to be updated with the latest changes. This is particularly important if you need legal representation in immigration matters. Immigration attorneys can give legal advice and immigration services tailored to your case. They can also help you with your:

Navigating the complexities of immigration law is overwhelming. But remember, you don't have to do this alone. Many immigration lawyers can provide legal assistance. Nonprofit organizations can also give referrals for legal services.

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