Agencies all over the World are vested with unique responsibilities. These ensure that programs of a country progress as needed. One such agency that has been in the limelight is the United States citizenship and immigration service (USCIS). It is a wide agency under the homeland security vested with overseeing immigration aspects. The United States citizenship and immigration service has been in existence for a long period of time, with it performing various functions in order to help immigrants and other illegal citizens gain legal entry into the United States. This is after the crisis and differences which occurred in the 1970s between the blacks and the whites, where the government came up with the system to help reduce such occurrences. The system is envisaged into the United States laws, which were influenced politically through policies such as the U.S Immigration and Nationality Act.
One of the main responsibilities of the department was to help integrate immigrants into the U.S community in a way that led to the reduction of racial differences. The enactment of various laws and legislation created the department in order to help reduce instances of racial clashes and also to calm differences that were noted during that period (Bloemraad, 2006). The department is underpinned by legislation, laws and policies enacted to handle enforcement issues pertaining to immigration, with it having accrued several benefits to the Country, despite some few challenges. In a wider perspective, it has handled immigrant related issues, resulting to some calm unlike noted before, due to its capacity to streamline immigration issues.
In areas of enforcement, the service has handled and protected the information contained obtained from immigrants in a way, that it helped unearth instances of fraud that was detected by the state agency. The system under the operation and control of state officers has the responsibility of unearthing elements of fraud, performing functions related to visa approval involving permanent residents and foreigners attempting to illegally enter the United States (United States Government Accountability Office, 2006). In this instance, the agency has a mandate to sieve through applications from U.S citizens, who mainly are in the process of assisting foreign nationals. It helps performs such functions with the main aim of reducing visa fraud, where the agency conducts a thorough investigation on people applying for residency status as well as seeking for immigration services. In addition, the agency also conducts this as a measure to curb illegal immigration in the expense of work and marriage hence reducing instances of visa fraud, especially where citizens and non-citizens or illegal immigrants are seeking for safety and at the same time intending to defraud the visa application process. In this,
a critical responsibility of the agency relates to measures of reducing illegal entry into the United States through deception where immigrants may try to deceive U.S citizens on marriage and work issues, hence sealing loopholes created by marriage by conducting checks to help sieve genuine applicants from deceitful ones.
The U.S citizenship and immigration service assists in protecting the country against illegal occupants trying to deceive the state immigration department. This is as recorded and noted in prior instances where fraud particularly on foreigners seeking the country’s citizenship either in work related engagements or deception where they deceive their spouses in order to be granted citizenship. Thus in protecting the sovereignty and the citizens of the country, the agency uses various techniques to reduce immigration fraud related cases especially where foreigners employ unlawful tactics to gain citizenship status, through administrative and system related mechanisms to protect the country against illegal or deceptive foreigners. This is therefore one of greatest responsibilities of the agency, in terms of implementing its policies in regulating the influx of immigrants and entry of illegal foreigners into the country. In as much as the United States citizenship and immigration service handles its functions of protecting the country’s border, the agency does not work in isolation, rather it cooperates with other state agencies as well to reduce instances of illegal entry into the country.
The agency as a well has an established branch with information systems that overseas its intelligence based functions and responsibilities. The information systems branch plays a great role in information gathering and other intelligent features to help in immigration control. Through the intelligent section of the agency which is under the watch of the parent agency, USCIS, the intelligence section performs the function of analyzing, reporting and disseminating of immigration related information. This is because information being a key aspect in gathering intelligence related data, the section performs intelligence based analysis to unearth vulnerabilities within the immigration component.
As a major function of the USCIS, the analytical function helps disseminate intelligence based security information to the agency. In this function, the agency liaises with its nationwide and local based fusion centers which help disseminate critical information to be shared among its officials. Through this, the agency is able to store and access real-time immigrant data and information which may be of help in implementing border laws as well as controlling the influx of foreigners and immigrants seeking citizenship status.
The section in conjunction with its intelligence research specialists conduct analytical function to help identify any previously recorded or known associations which would help the agency to map anomalies and collate data beneficial to them (Randol et al, 2009). This is especially attributed to the fact that the agency has implemented an immense information system facility consisting of electronic databases consisting of hundreds of thousands of immigrant alien files which help the department perform its mandate in maintaining public safety, through a system approach for easier access to files and alien profiles critical in enforcing immigration related functions.
The United States citizenship and immigration service in conjunction with other major actors within the agency, uses technology to assist store, analyze and report immigrant based information which is very critical to its operations in maintaining public safety and legal immigration across the borders of countries bordering the United States. In this system based approach, entry into the country has been enforced and only citizens and others with legal entry are permitted entry.
As a responsibility of performing its work in protecting and implementing America’s immigration and resident status policies, USCIS plays an analytical role in disseminating critical intelligence based information important to the agencies mission in protecting America’s safety. In this, the agency has been able to maintain public safety and also to help understand how analytics play an important role in securing America’s borders despite being limited in its explanation on how data is collated to provide suspects information. The agency thus stems out the problem of illegal immigration and deceptive ways of immigrating into the United States, as well as highlights some of the emerging trends that is off late employed by immigrants.
In another responsibility of the United States citizenship and immigration service in relation to the asylum seeking process, there are other several functions within the USCIS under the homeland security state agency. The agency assists in asylum approval process where it helps victims who are prone to try to deceit the government due to their illegal status. The agency under the homeland security branch together with the USCIS functions to help maintain the critical vast information of asylum seekers. In this function, the department of homeland security and USCIS facilitate the asylum application process where asylum seekers apply for asylum at USCIS application support centers (Stana& United States Government Accountability Office, 2008). In this phase, the United States citizenship and immigration service helps asylum seekers in the adjudication process where they initiate the application process and schedule interview notices, and also in turn assist in verifying an applicant’s data according to administrative procedures and laid down rules in relation to asylum.
In the agency’s function in support of the asylum application process, the USCIS helps in handling the sensitive processes in order to grant or deny applicant’s entry into the United States. In this function, the agency assists asylum seekers through the immigration process to in trying to acquire resident status or citizenship. In this, the agency together with the department of homeland security (DHS), work together to reduce the influx of illegal immigrants, tighten the borders as well as implement laws on immigration. The U.S. citizenship and immigration service also functions as an information based agency for immigrants seeking lawful immigration to the United States. In this, as a function based agency, it also has responsibilities in terms of providing information as well as promoting awareness to immigrants in relation to citizenship, legal entry and settlement into the United States (Schram& Tibbetts, 2014). In this approach the USCIS promotes awareness to third parties as one of its core functions and responsibilities in terms of creating awareness to people intending to legally acquire residence and citizenship in the United States.
As noted, the USCIS plays an important role in creating awareness which also has redefined its responsibility, where it uses a friendlier approach to try and maintain social order, security and public safety in the United States. These informational controls are approaches that the agency uses to implement border related controls to try reduce the influx of illegal immigrants, as well as liberate immigrants in their quest to acquire U.S citizenship and legal stay in the United States.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration service is therefore a critical component within the immigration department. Its existence as an agency in facilitating smooth entry into the United States has been applauded, since it has helped reduce instances of fraud and illegal stay in the country, thus securing public safety and order. It remains a critical component, which is also likely to bring a lot of debate currently, given the political stand in immigration laws that the current leadership in the United States has had in recent times. It is a state agency worth observing how its functions will change the immigration landscape in the United States.
Bloemraad, I. (2006). Becoming a citizen: Incorporating immigrants and refugees in the United States and Canada. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Randol, M. A., Library of Congress., & Federation of American Scientists. (2009). The Department of Homeland Security intelligence enterprise: Operational overview and oversight challenges for Congress. Washington, D.C.? Congressional Research Service.
Stana, R. M., & United States. (2008). U.S. asylum system: Agencies have taken actions to help ensure quality in the asylum adjudication process, but challenges remain: report to congressional requesters. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Schram, P. J., & Tibbetts, S. G. (2014). Introduction to criminology: Why do they do it? Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
United States. (2006). Immigration benefits: Additional controls and a sanctions strategy could enhance DHS’s ability to control benefit fraud: report to congressional requesters.