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US Immigration and Naturalization Service Biography

None Found to the question "Should the Government Allow Immigrants Who Are Here Illegally to Become US Citizens?"

Defunct since March 1, 2003. Responsibilities reorganized into the following agencies under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Customs and Border Protection


“After the Civil War, some states started to pass their own immigration laws, which prompted the Supreme Court to rule in 1875 that immigration was a federal responsibility. An increasingly complex web of laws and policies made it apparent that the nation needed a federal agency to enforce things from the top. The Immigration Act of 1891 established an Office of the Superintendent of Immigration within the Treasury Department… Legislation in March 1895 upgraded the Office of Immigration to the Bureau of Immigration…

In 1903, Congress transferred the Bureau of Immigration to the newly created Department of Commerce and Labor. A century later,… in 1905, the commission reported – not surprisingly – that there was almost no uniformity in practices and procedures among the nation’s more than 5,000 naturalization courts. To address this lack of uniformity, Congress passed the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906, which established naturalization procedures that endure to this day. The Act encouraged state and local courts to relinquish their jurisdiction to federal courts, and it expanded the Bureau of Immigration into the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization… Just seven years later, in 1913, the Department of Commerce and Labor reorganized into today’s separate cabinet departments, and for a time, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization followed suit, each becoming a separate bureau, one for immigration, one for naturalization.

They stayed like that until 1933. Illegal entries and alien smuggling began to rise along land borders, so Congress created the Border Patrol, in 1924, within the Immigration Service. Stricter immigration policies coupled with Border Patrol apprehensions meant that agency staff and resources were becoming more heavily involved in deportations… Thus was born the Immigration Board of Review, created within the Immigration Bureau in the mid-1920s. (The Board of Review became the Board of Immigration Appeals after moving to the Justice Department in the 1940s; it is now the Executive Office of Immigration Review). In 1933, the two agencies reunited by executive order into today’s Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). President Roosevelt moved the INS from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice in 1940.

…fThe workforce that had numbered some 8,000 from World War II through the late 1970s grew to more than 30,000 employees in 36 districts around the world by 1998. The one-time force of immigrant inspectors became a corps of officers specializing in inspection, examination, adjudication, legalization, investigation, patrol, and refugee and asylum issues. These very skills and specialties made for a natural marriage with the U.S. Customs Service after 9/11. Legacy INS employees now work in one of three agencies – the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection.”

“U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service – Populating a Nation: A History of Immigration and Naturalization,”, Mar. 28, 2007


“[The INS] conducts immigration inspections of travelers entering (or seeking entry) to the United States as they arrive at officially designated ports of entry. There are approximately 250 ports of entry in the Unites States, which include air, land and sea locations. Regulates permanent and temporary immigration to the United States. This includes legal permanent residence status, nonimmigrant status (e.g., tourists or students), and naturalization. Maintains control of U.S. borders. The Border Patrol is responsible for securing the 8,000 miles of international boundaries in vehicles, aircraft, or boats, as well as on horseback or on foot. Identifies and removes people who have no lawful immigration status in the United States. The INS also works with other Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to uphold the laws of the United States.”

“U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service – Mission, Strategies, and Performance,” (archived website), Sep. 16, 2002

Government organization