Agencies of Immigration Law

There are a lot of acronyms in immigration law especially when dealing with the various institutions.

USCIS stands for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS is part of the Department of Homeland Security. USCIS decides whether immigration petitions and benefits should be granted.Many of the applicants that USCIS processes are already located in the United States. For example, USCIS  decides whether to grant naturalization or a green card to an applicant.

NVC stands for National Visa Center. NVC is a part of the Department of State. After a petition has been approved from USCIS, if the beneficiary lives outside the United States, the NVC processes the documents and sends them along to the appropriate consulates and embassies.

ICE stands for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE is responsible for enforcing immigration laws within the United States such as investigating and make arrests. ICE also prosecutes immigrations cases in immigration court.

CBP stands for US Customs and Border Protection. The difference between ICE and CBP is that CBP protects the border of the U.S. and controls access into the U.S.

Each agency plays a different role in immigration law and often times it can be confusing what role each one plays. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 508-438-1198.

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

#ice #dhs #uscis #immigrationlaw #immigration

 

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Immigration Law + Criminal Law = ?

If you are NOT a US citizen, there is ALWAYS a chance that you can be deported! Being a legal permanent resident for 20 years or more does not protect you from deportation, IF you commit a crime!

Criminal law and immigration law are two distinct fields of law, but the problem is that committing certain crimes can lead to triggers in immigration law. The other problem is committing a crime in criminal law has a different name and different definition in immigration law. For instance, in immigration law you can be deported for committing an “aggravated felony” or committing two or more “crimes involving moral turpitude.” But if you look at the criminal statutes in Massachusetts there are no aggravated felonies or crimes involving moral turpitude.

What does “aggravated felony” and a “crime involving moral turpitude” (CIMT) mean? The answer is tricky. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the term aggravated felony includes acts of murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, drug trafficking, trafficking firearms or other destructive devices, theft or burglary where term of imprisonment is at least one year, child pornography, treason, and more. As you can see the list is pretty serious and extensive.

The term “crime involving moral turpitude” is even trickier. The Board of Immigration Appeals defined it as “conduct that shocks the public conscience as being inherently base, vile, or depraved, contrary to the rules of morality and the duties owed between man and man, either one’s fellow man or society in general.” Well what does that mean you ask? The immigration courts have determined that it generally includes: spousal abuse, child abuse, robbery, aggravated assault, animal fighting, theft, fraud, driving under the influence, and more. Crimes involving moral turpitude are much broader and can have serious consequences!

Those who are not US citizens should definitely hire an attorney if they are charged with ANY crime to ensure that it does NOT affect their immigration status!

Also if you are legal permanent resident and it is possible for you to naturalize, DO IT! You never know what can happen in the future and if for whatever reason you are charged with a crime, at least you will be assured that you cannot be deported if you are a citizen!

 

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.