|Law Offices of Janet J. Greathouse
Immigration and Nationality Law
|March 1 Sees End of INS
On March 1, the Department of Homeland Security will officially absorb the INS by becoming responsible for border security and immigration services. However, under the DHS, immigration services and border enforcement functions will be divided into separate agencies.
The newly created Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) will focus exclusively on providing services such as processing applications for U.S. citizenship, administering the Visa program, administering work authorizations and other permits, and providing services for new residents and citizens. Despite this transition, the INS Application Support Centers and other offices will remain the same. Moreover, current INS forms will be accepted for filing, and pending INS applications will be reviewed by BCIS. For the time being, the application procedures will remain the same and checks for filing fees may be made out to either INS or BCIS.
Border security and the enforcement of immigration laws will be handled by the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security, absorbing INS' Border Patrol agents and investigators who will join with agents from the U.S. Customs Service, Transportation Security Administration and other enforcement personnel. This mission includes not only managing illegal immigration, but also securing the borders against illicit drugs, unlawful commerce and the entry of terrorists.
For further discussion of this transition and updated information on future changes, please go to DHS web site.
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