Who Can Enforce Immigration Law?

In the United States, immigration is known for its numerous attachments. Immigration Law is the set of rules and regulations incorporated by the federal government which pre-determines or distinguishes who can be granted admission of entry and the duration of their stay.

Apart from the entry and exit log of non-citizens, this federal law also holds the process of naturalization of immigrants who desire to permanently live in the U.S. or be granted a Green Card. Given the responsibility and significant role it has, the immigration law is enforced by only agencies or groups of entities specified by the U.S. Congress.

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

The department’s vital mission is mainly to keep the nation safe and secure from any public threat. This federal executive department is also accountable for terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, digital or cybersecurity, and natural disaster prevention. They are to prevent illegal entry into the United States and take into custody those foreign citizens proven or suspected of violating the U.S. Immigration Laws.

Moreover, the department was a response – a wake-up call to the September 11 attacks back in 2001. With this history, former President George W. Bush established the department to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to protect the country from any kind of terrorism (from threats to indirect and direct attacks).

  • United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Under the executive department (DHS) lies the largest federal law enforcement agency and the nation’s front-runner for border control organization – United States CBP. This agency is the one who takes control over the port of entries in the United States, assuring that immigration laws are imposed.

Under the Customs Modernization Act 1592, the agency can give corresponding civil penalties for falsification of data or information (personally handed or digitally). In addition to these penalties, CBP may also provide a criminal sanction to entities who have been a fraud or had presented any false information to Customs officers. There is an estimated two years of imprisonment, or a choice of $5,000 fine, per infraction.

  • The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

As for the country’s processing of naturalization and immigration travel, the agency held accountable for such roles is USCIS. Under the immigration system, it also has the application for work, travel, spouse, and family visas, asylum applicants, and Green Card, aspirants. The role of the group is to terminate pending immigration cases and provide an organized immigration system.

  • United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

This federal agency focuses on the primary immigration enforcement, terrorism, and illegal transfer of individuals or merchandise from one country to the U.S. It consists of two sections: a) Homeland Security Investigations b) Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287, ICE is authorized to affect cooperation between the local and state enforcement agencies positively. Under the INA, appointed local and state officers can perform immigration law enforcement roles, provided that the officer had been certified and properly trained and is supervised by a U.S. ICE officer/s. For more information, ask an immigration lawyer near you.