INS Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents

INS Agents worked for the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from the time it was established in 1933 until it was shut down in 2003. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was responsible for enforcing national immigration regulations. This agency apprehended and deported undocumented immigrants. The INS was comprised of deportation officers, criminal investigators, and border patrol and immigration agents.

Agents that worked for the INS processed temporary resident applications, developed reports, kept records, and inspected passports. Border patrol agents that worked for the INS were responsible for patrolling the border, detaining illegal immigrants, and stopping drug smuggling.

When INS ceased to exist in 2003, the functions it had previously performed were assumed by three new agencies – U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), US. Citizenshi and Immigration Services (USCIS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). All three of these agencies are divisions that operated within the Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enformement, more commonly known as "ICE", is a federal law enforcement agencies that operates within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ICE, and the agents it employs, are tasked with the responsibility of guarding the nation's borders, and ensuring the security of transportation systems, vital infrastructure and the economy. More specifically, they investigate, indentify and dismantle vulnerabilities in or nation's borders.

Based in Washington, D.C., ICE has two main divisions: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). ICE investigates and enforces more than 400 federal mandates and statutes domestically, and has attaches in embassies throughout the world.

HSI Special Agents are investigative specialists that focus on national security as it relates to issues including human smuggling, drug trafficking, human rights violations, arms trafficking, art theft, financial crimes, transnational gangs, computer crimes (including child pornography) and Cultural Property and Antiquities crimes. During busy times of the year, HSI special agents my work with the U.S. Secret Service solving crimes and providing extra security.

ERO agents' primary responsibility is to enforce immigration and make sure illegal aliens are deported from the Uniteed States. ERO agents, more commonly known as Deportation Officers (DOs), find, arrest, and remove illegal aliens who violate immigration laws.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) carries out many of the function previously performed by INS. The main objectives of USCIS are to improve national security, improve customer service and get rid of immigration case backlogs. Specifically, USCIS processes petitions for immigration visas, asylum, refugee applications, naturalization petitions, and administers immigration services and benefits. They are the federal agency that grants permanent resident status and U.S. citizenship.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the largest division within U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This federal law enforcement agency is responsible for regulating international trade, collecting import duties and enforcing federal customs, trade, and immigration regulations. The agency is also tasked with the mission of preventing terrorists from entering the United States. Over 45,600 federal agents and offers are employed by the CBP.

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