On March 1st, 2003 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will become fully responsible for all matters regarding U.S. Immigration and safeguarding U.S. borders.
Prior to the newly formed DHS, these two critical functions and Departments were bundled together within one agency - the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
However, the DHS will now operate two separate agencies; immigration services and border enforcement functions, which will allow both Departments to receive the full attention they deserve.
1) IMMIGRATION ~ The newly created Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services will focus exclusively on providing services such as more efficient processing of applications for U.S. citizenship, administering the Visa program, administering work authorizations and other permits, and providing services for new residents and citizens. This agency will be responsible for:
• Providing immigration services and benefits to individuals who are entitled to stay in the U.S. on a temporary or permanent basis
• These benefits include the granting of U.S. citizenship to those who are eligible to naturalize, authorizing individuals to reside in the U.S. on a permanent basis, and providing aliens with the eligibility to work in the U.S.
• Immigration Forms
• U.S. Citizenship
• Moving to or Visiting the U.S.
To Link Directly to the DHS Immigration website - Click Here
2) BORDERS ~ Border security and the enforcement of immigration laws, however, will be handled by the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security. BTS will absorb the INS's Border Patrol agents and investigators who will join with agents from the U.S. Customs Service, Transportation Security Administration and other enforcement personnel to protect the nation's borders. This mission includes not only managing illegal immigration, but also securing the borders against illicit drugs, unlawful commerce and - as the Department's main priority - the entry of terrorists and the instruments of terrorism. This agency will be responsible for:
• Managing the nation's borders and ports-of-entry
• Preventing the passage of individuals or goods from entering the United States unlawfully
• Working overseas to strengthen U.S. defenses against illegal smuggling and immigration
• Inspections at U.S. Borders
• Immigration Enforcement
• Maritime Security
• Customs Enforcement
To Link Directly to the DHS Border Enforcement website - Click Here
By improving their service using more advanced technologies, enhancing the flow of information, better coordination with state, local and Federal governments, the DHS now believes it is ready to meet the challenge of safeguarding and securing US borders and improving the efficiency of the US immigration and naturalization operations.
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