The INS, Role, and Responsibilities

In the days following the 9/11 attacks there have been many changes in the organization and how the government handles the flow of people coming into the country.  The INS was first started as the organization that was responsible for handing the people who were applying for citizenship and residency.  INS stands for Immigration and Naturalization Service, the organization charged with respecting the safety of the USA.

The INS is now responsible for many tasks that it never had before, including inspecting travelers who are entering and exiting the United States gates through more than 300 points of entry nationwide.  Whether you are coming or going from the United States, you are likely to be passing through an INS worker who is responsible for helping make sure anyone who is wanted by the law is not able to gain entry to the country.  Although largely a precaution, it is thought that this will be most helpful in preventing possible threats to national security.

Other tasks of the INS include handling the residence status of all who apply for residence and citizenship.  They also handle and seek to regulate the status of all permanent and temporary immigration requests.  The INS. also handles tourists, and students, as well as those coming for conventions, special classes, visiting family and all other business.

The INS has also been given the tasks of controlling all of the borders into the United States, especially the borders between Mexico and the United States and Canada and the United States.  This is an extremely large task since the United States shares such large land borders with two other countries.  This allows for an almost daily flow of people trying to enter the country illegally.

INS workers are also responsible for handling and removing all people who have no legal rights to be in this country.  They are responsible for removing the parties in accordance with the laws, and by following all of the standards that are set in place for obtaining temporary status, or returning the person to the country where they came from.

In a report the INS released in 2001, there was 31,971 employees on staff.  This resulted in a rate of 24,233 of these employees being classified as enforcement personal were used to enforce the laws, rulings and policies of this country.  The INS today is a function of the Justice Department and serves mostly as an investigative unit, unlike many other departments, which serve as law enforcement units instead.

In recent years, the borders have had more illegal entry than previously, which has resulted in larger amounts of staff being added to help secure the borders and protect our country.  Without being able to know who is entering our country, we are unable to truly protect our citizens and other people.  Border patrol agents is the one largest area where the INS has seen growth in jobs available.  Due to the increase of jobs in the border patrol, we are able to see much fewer illegal entries into the country.

As we progress into a country that is, more accommodating of people from various cultures it will be quite interesting to see how the INS is changed to adapt and become more friendly to the needs of all people, even those entering the country.

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