Customs Enforcement Immigration

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Customs enforcement immigration used to be part of the responsibilities of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). After the Homeland Security Act was passed in 2002, the immigration and investigative/enforcement duties of the INS were separated so each area could receive the concentrated effort it deserved. Immigration services and benefits became the mission of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Customs enforcement immigration has been absorbed into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as of March 1, 2003. Border management and enforcement falls under the duties of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The mission of ICE is to prevent terrorism by identifying the individuals, money, and materials that sustain terrorism and crime.

Customs Enforcement Immigration Organization

The responsibility of ICE is enormous. This organization is the largest investigative section of the Department of Homeland Security, and is charged with identifying and shutting down, if necessary, weaknesses in this country's borders and infrastructure. Basically, this is a vast law enforcement agency with expansive power that absorbed the duties of the Customs Service, the INS, the Federal Protective Service, and the Federal Air Marshals Service.

This customs enforcement immigration agency has many operational divisions. The Office of Investigations pinpoints human smuggling, narcotics, weapons, and any contraband smuggling. It is responsible for exports enforcement, and the examination of money laundering, cybercrime, immigration crime and human rights violations. The Office of Detention and Removal ensures the timely exit of removable aliens who have violated immigration laws.

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