U.S. immigration matters and policy are primarily administered by three (3) federal agencies: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), the U.S. Department of Labor (“USDOL”), and the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”).
DHS includes within it U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”). USCIS is responsible for adjudicating immigration benefits such as changes and extensions of nonimmigrant status; granting of family-based and employment-based “Green Cards”; citizenship and naturalization; and asylee/refugee matters. Housed within USCIS is its own appellate body for reviewing visa decisions–the Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”). ICE is responsible for investigating violations of the immigration laws, and enforcing the departure of non-American citizens who are not authorized to be in the United States. Finally, CBP is responsible for all matters relating to the inspection of persons and goods arriving at our border.