wex backgrounders

Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) represents an effort by Congress to strengthen and streamline U.S. immigration laws. The Act was designed to improve border control by imposing criminal penalties for racketeering, alien smuggling and the use or creation of fraudulent immigration-related documents and increasing interior enforcement by agencies charged with monitoring visa applications and visa abusers.

Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/PUBLAW/HTML/PUBLAW/0-0-0-10948.html



An agreement in which investors receive annuity payments, with the special provision that when one participant dies, his or her share goes to the others (increasing the payments to the survivors). Generally, the last to die receives the remaining funds. They are illegal in the United States.


A law adopted by a town or city council, county board of supervisors, or other municipal governing board. Typically, local governments issue ordinances establishing zoning and parking rules, and regulating noise, garbage removal, and the operation of parks and other areas within the locality's borders.



To move towards the bench in order to have a conversation with the judge and opposing counsel off the record and/or out of the jury's earshot. An attorney or juror (during voir dire) must request to approach the bench, i.e. "Your honor, may I approach the bench?" 

Illustrative case law

See, e.g. People v. Maher, 675 N.E.2d 833 (N.Y. 1996).


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