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How immigration and customs enforcement agencies are different

When it comes to immigration matters, it's important to know the differences between the responsibilities of one federal agency versus another. This will allow you to make more informed decisions as to how to deal with them.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has as a role to set immigration service policies and enforce them. Another one of their responsibilities is to decide what it's priorities will be, e.g., how many different types of visas will be issued each year and what types of individuals they want to attract as emigrants. Their other responsibility is managing all aspects of immigration and naturalization appeals and hearings.

With the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), responsibility lies in protecting the country's borders. One of the main focuses of those efforts centers around keeping terrorists out. They also are tasked with keeping illegal weapons and harmful substances out of the country. It's their responsibility to do this while still encouraging the freedom of legally authorized travel and trade.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcment (ICE) agency is run as part of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is responsible for investigating potential infrastructural deficiencies that may put the United States' security at risk. Officers with ICE are responsible for identifying and closing down any border, transportation, security or economic threats to America and its citizens.

If you've been contacted by one of the different federal agencies listed above that are associated with borders and immigration you may benefit from discussing the nature of that communication with a Norcross U.S. immigration law attorney.

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, "What are the differences between Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)?," accessed Nov. 24, 2017

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