Immigration Law and Federal Agencies charged with the Administration and Enforcement of US Immigration Law.
Three federal agencies are charged with the administration and enforcement of US immigration law. The agencies are; Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), US Custom Immigration Service (USCIS), Custom and Borders Protection. Immigration law and federal agencies responsible for execution and the application of the law are responsible for adjudication of family based immigration relative petitions, U.S. citizenship application, asylum applications, and the enforcement of immigration law through detention and deportation of illegal immigrants already present with a criminal record.
IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT: The US Immigration and Customs enforcement (ICE) is saddled with the responsibility of enforcing federal laws governing on border control, custom, trade and immigration in order to ensure public safety through the promotion of homeland security. Generally, they investigate those who break the law and prosecute offenders. ICE Agents are responsible for finding and detaining an illegal or offending immigrant. The local detention facility for Virginia is located at the Farmville Detention Center. There are many immigration attorneys in Springfield VA minutes from most major cities such as Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale, and surrounding cities that can help deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE Agents can be found at local state courts and prisons searching for offending immigrants and also pickup immigrants at the port of entry such as Airport once Customs and Border Protection agents have brought removability charges against an arriving immigration or legal permanent residents.
US CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES: The US Citizenship and immigration services promotes national security and eliminate immigration service backlog. They handle the legal immigration. Their functions include; administration of immigration service and benefits, granting lawful permanent residents status, Granting US citizenship and adjudicating asylum claims. There are many USCIS main service center and many local field offices responsible for adjudication, interview, and document submission. The Washington Field office for DHS is located in Fairfax, VA where citizenship interviews, oath ceremonies and are conducted as one of the jobs performed by the Government relating to immigration law and federal agencies.
CUSTOM AND BORDERS PROTECTION: It is the largest law enforcement agency in the US department of homeland security. It regulates international trade, collects imports duties and enforcing US regulations including trade, immigration and custom. The most common place Custom and Border Protection agents (CBP) carry out their duties relating to immigration law and federal agencies is at the Airport. CBP officers are present at customs to determine and question arriving passengers about their immigration status and their past to determine whether they are welcome to the United States or should be refused entry. People seized at the Airport in Washington Duller International Airport are transferred to ICE Agents to determine whether the offending immigrant should be detained while their referred to Arlington Immigration court for removal proceedings or whether they can be released and given a future court to appear before an immigration judge in Arlington VA. Depending on the circumstances it may be necessary at times to have an immigration lawyer present if CBP officers wish to intensively question an arriving immigrant.
US IMMIGRATION COURT
The US immigration court is saddled with the responsibility of determining the fate of immigrants without the permission to stay in US and refugees. It is an administrative court operated by the US department of Justice with over 200 judges in 50 immigration courts nationwide. At first glance it looks like regular court, but they are not part of regular judicial bench, they are under the umbrella of the US department of Justice. Proceedings in the US immigration court are anchored by government lawyers. The Immigration court has an appeal, the rulings of the court can be challenged by a federal appellate court. A single presidential appointee can overrule their decision on certain issues. The Arlington Immigration court located at South Bell Street in Arlington VA handles all cases in which an immigrant has been referred for deportation by DHS, ICE, and CBP. Due to the proximity of the immigration court in Arlington VA local immigration lawyers are in constant contact with USCIS and ICE officers located at Fairfax VA field office discussing immigration law and federal agencies’ power to search and arrest immigrants and determine their legal status in the United States.
Due to the fact that immigration law and federal agencies are very complex, it is always advisable for people having immigration issues to consult the services of immigration lawyers. Immigration lawyers perform the following functions to their clients;
CRITICISM AGAINST US IMMIGRATION COURT
Some of the widely held criticisms against immigration court are;
- Immigration courts are overwhelmed with cases. There are about 200 immigration court judges hearing about 300,000 cases per year. With this number of cases, the immigration judges may not pay detail attention to cases.
- They lack uniformity in their procedures. This can bring about inconsistent rulings among the judges. These inconsistencies have led to increase in the number of appeal cases.
- The Immigration court system has also been criticized for lack of transparency. Most immigration courts are housed in locations where the public cannot access them including deportation lawyers who may wish to assist those threatened with deportation.
- Immigration courts release less documents than the regular courts making appeal a bit difficult.
- Immigration courts are part of the Department of Justice and the judges very limited autonomy and discretion.
Links to Agencies Discussed: