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Immigration and Naturalization Service

Immigration And Naturalization Service

A Guide to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service

The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, which is now known as the Legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, was an agency that was created on June 10, 1933. The Immigration and Naturalization Service stopped operating under that name on March 1, 2003 and became the Legacy INS, which was composed of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The purpose of the Immigration and Naturalization Service was to protect and enforce laws regarding naturalization, controlling aliens from illegally entering into the country, preventing individuals from receiving benefits such as unemployment or social security by individuals if they were ineligible for such benefits, and investigating, detaining, and deporting illegal immigrants who were residing in the United States.

Functions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service

The two main functions of the Immigration and Naturalization Service that are of interest are its immigration services, as well as patrolling the borders of the United States

Immigration Process

The Immigration and Naturalization Service works to maintain approximately 250 ports of entry into the country over 8,000 miles of borders. Individuals who want to emigrate into the country must go through these ports and undergo inspection by INS agents. There are different procedures for dealing with the entry of immigrants who want to move to the United States, for those seeking asylum, and nonresidents who want to study in the country.

Individuals who want to stay in the United States as legal permanent residents must be issued an Alien Registration Card (often called a green card) by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. This Green Card allows aliens who have permanent resident status to travel between the United States and other countries freely, as long as they keep their permanent home within the United States.

This card is the first step towards receiving American citizenship. Aliens who have had this Green Card for five years can apply for citizenship and if accepted, can be sworn in and become naturalized citizens. More information on immigration to the United States can be found through the USCIS branch of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Controlling United States Borders

The United States government has a quota system that controls the number of green cards issued annually. Because of this restricted quota, there is a steady stream of illegal or undocumented aliens who come into America and work in low-paying jobs that are offered by unprincipled employers.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service works to limit the amount of illegal aliens who come into the country through the through its U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They secure the borders by sea, land, and air. The Immigration and Naturalization Service also works to uncover circumstances of exploitation of these aliens and imposes harsh criminal penalties for doing so.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service also tries to identify and remove criminal aliens the country. This anyone those who have has a criminal record from other countries, or those who try to subvert the American government.

NEXT: General Laws of Naturalization in the United States

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