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North Dakota State Immigration Laws

Learning about the intricacies of immigration laws can be daunting and overwhelming. The laws sometimes apply differently in each case, and states may have varying rules and regulations. Despite these, knowing your rights under this law is essential regardless of your immigration status.

This article will discuss the following topics:

This article comprehensively overviews some immigrants' civil rights under immigration law. It also talks about North Dakota state benefits and restrictions for resident migrants.

Law Enforcement and Immigration in North Dakota

The U.S. government in Washington, D.C., has departments and agencies that oversee the enforcement of immigration laws in the country. Below is a list of these government agencies:

Although the federal government mainly manages immigration laws, state authorities can assist local law enforcement.

The ICE's Criminal Apprehension Program (CAP) emphasizes this effort. The program strengthens the collaboration between federal and state agencies in enforcing the rules under immigration law.

CAP helps to arrest, identify, and remove non-U.S. citizens who pose security threats to communities in the country. It applies particularly to non-U.S. citizens who committed crimes or are at large. The goal is to strengthen public safety by removing dangerous and violent non-U.S. citizens.

Back in 2017, "Secure Communities" was in effect. It worked like CAP, wherein state and federal authorities worked together to enforce immigration laws. Here, the DHS shared information about arrested people with the FBI. They then looked at the immigration status of the person and decided about their removal or deportation.

But, President Joe Biden revoked "Secure Communities" in January 2021. There are still programs that enforce similar initiatives.

North Dakota Employment Verification Requirements

Several states make it mandatory for employers to verify the employment eligibility of their employees before hiring. To help this verification effort, the DHS has E-Verify.

E-Verify is an online system that helps employers check immigrant workers' eligibility for employment. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 authorized E-Verify.

In North Dakota, E-Verify is optional. But, employers may voluntarily use the system to check their employees' eligibility status.

You may visit the E-Verify official website for more information about employment in North Dakota.

Driver's License/ID Requirements

Immigrants without proper documentation in North Dakota may not get state identification or a driver's license. But, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients may get in-state tuition rates.

Public Benefits Restrictions

In general, undocumented immigrants cannot get federal public benefits. But, several exceptions may apply to this rule. This is particularly true for those necessary to safeguard the immigrants' health care and safety. Here are some of the benefits that are accessible to immigrants living here illegally:

  • Child care funded by TANF and the Child Care Development Fund
  • Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children
  • Emergency Medicaid
  • Emergency shelter, transitional housing
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency

Please note that the accessibility to public benefits may apply differently depending on the person's immigration status. Visit this detailed chart by American University for more information. Contact an immigration attorney near you to understand your rights better.

Restrictions on Educational Benefits

North Dakota only gives students with proper documentation access to in-state tuition rates. The state makes this educational benefit exclusive to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

An exception applies to those with refugee status. Those with this status can also be U.S. residents when applying for state tuition purposes. So, refugees may pay in-state tuition rates. But, refugees should have visas endorsed by the Immigration and Naturalization Services.

Housing Ordinances and Immigration

North Dakota Housing Discrimination Act of 1999 (NDHDA) works like the Fair Housing Act (FHA). These acts provide protections for people's rights to fair housing. The federal FHA also prohibits discrimination against fair housing based on the following:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • National origin

The NDHDA expanded this list and added age, public assistance, gender, marriage, and status as a victim of domestic violence.

Related Resources

Various nonprofit organizations and legal resources are available to immigrants in North Dakota. Included among them are as follows:

  • Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota — It offers a wide range of social services to immigrants and refugees in the state. Its legal services include adjustment of status, naturalization or U.S. citizenship application, and referrals to other non-legal services.
  • North Dakota Human Rights Coalition — This coalition of organizations and people in North Dakota interested in furthering human rights. It also supports advocacy for the rights of refugees and immigrants.
  • American Civil Liberties Union, North Dakota — The Union protects the civil liberties and civil rights of all residents in North Dakota, including immigrants. It's in Fargo.

FindLaw offers free access to articles related to immigration law. Here, you will learn your basic rights and other intricacies related to the immigration process.

Disclaimer: This list is not exclusive to resources and organizations that help immigrants in North Dakota.

Seek Legal Advice from an Immigration Attorney

The rules related to immigration law may vary in every state. For instance, immigrants without proper documentation in New York, Maryland, and Minnesota can qualify for in-state tuition. But, the same rule does not apply to immigrants living in North Dakota illegally.

To learn more about your rights under immigration law, seek legal help from an immigration lawyer. They can give legal information that applies particularly to your case. Some of the services that lawyers provide are:

  • Application for lawful permanent residency or green card
  • Change of status, naturalization, or U.S. citizenship
  • Petitioning family members to the U.S.
  • Legal representation in immigration court
  • Other matters related to immigration laws

To learn more about federal immigration law, has self-help resources available.

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