The Immigration Law of the United States, its Administration and Enforcement
In the United States, the immigration law is made up of a large number of statutes, regulations, administrative agency rulings, and decisions from federal courts, including the District Courts, the Circuit Courts of Appeal and even the Supreme Court.
The Immigration Law of the United States is broad in its scope and it controls a great number elements essential to our society; from the determination of who can visit the U.S., who can be granted asylum, who can be granted a “Green Card” [Legal Permanent Resident Status], to who can be granted citizenship, as well as how and when.
Who Administers and Enforces the Immigration Laws of the United States
The administration and enforcement of immigration laws is largely controlled by the executive branch of our government through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of State (DOS).
DHS has three divisions that control immigration:
- The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) processes many of the non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications, as well as asylum applications and “green card” applications.
- Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for detention of immigrants who have violated the law, certain criminal investigations, as well as many of the procedures related to removal/deportation.
- Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for the processing of individuals who are seeking to enter the U.S. at our borders and ports of entry, as well as controlling our physical borders.
The Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) is in the Department of Justice and it is responsible for the Immigration Courts, which hold administrative removal/deportation hearings, and the Board of Immigration Appeals, which hears appeals of decisions made by the Immigration Courts and in some instances appeals from the denial of certain visa applications.
The Department of State controls all of the U.S. Embassies and Consulates that process non-immigrant and immigrant visas, the National Visa Center (NVC) located in New Hampshire that assists these Consulates, as well as the U.S. Passport office which in some cases will determine if a person is a U.S. Citizen.
US Visas, Residency (Green Cards), Citizenship and Removal/Deportation
The immigration law in the U.S. is vast. It is controlled by many different divisions within several different governmental agencies, all with a focus on controlling who enters the U.S. with a visa, who is able to stay permanently within the U.S. with Legal Permanent Resident Status (a Green Card), and ultimately who is able to have U.S. citizenship/ naturalization. Due to the complexity of this area of the law it is critical to have assistance from experienced immigration attorneys to help you evaluate the best immigration alternative for you and to follow the proper procedure with the relevant government agency.
Contact an Experienced Massachusetts Immigration Attorney Today
Our team of immigration lawyers at FitzGerald Law Company have a long and proven track record of success with immigration cases. We can help you to achieve your immigration goals, whether it be to obtain a U.S. visa, legal permanent residency (green card) or to become a citizen of the United States, and we are ready to assist you at each step of the way. To schedule an appointment to learn more about what we can do in terms of immigration, call (617)303-2600 today. We serve Boston, East Boston, Malden, Everett, Revere, Saugus, Lynn, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, Jamaica Plain, Brookline, Newton, Waltham, Framingham, Lowell, Lawrence and all of the surrounding communities in Massachusetts.