...was ratified and adopted by the United States of America on December 12, 1791 when the state of Virginia approved them. The actual ratification process had begun in November 1789 when New Jersey voted to ratify these rights. Originally there were 12 Articles enumerated with the Bill of Rights, but only Articles 3 through 12 were ratified at the time. The second article, not ratified in the 1700's, was actually later ratified in 1992 and became the 27th Amendment. Three states of the original 13 States: Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts did not ratify any of the actual first 10 Amendments until 1939 (can you imagine that, the state of John Kerry and Ted Kennedy, the state of Christopher Dodd and Joseph Liberman, and the state of Jimmy Carter not ratifying it until 1939).
In essence the Bill of Rights was penned to assure that certain rights were not overlooked or forgotten because they had not specifically been mentioned within the U.S. Constitution. I should not need to say a whole lot about the Bill of Rights, every American citizen should know about what I am speaking, as should every legal immigrant to this country. If you are not familiar with, or wish to become more knowledgeable about it, please go to:
http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/BillOfRights.html#2 (a surprisingly informative page, when you see each right spelled out, click on its link above the wording to see some truly interesting annotations).
All the best,