Immigration law lays out the rules that are established by the federal government to determine who can enter the country. These rules will also highlight the rules that have to be followed for people who wish to become citizens in the US. Immigration laws also cover the detention and removal of people who have entered the country without permission, overstayed their visit or those who have lost legal status in the US.
Congress will have exclusive rights to create and enforce legislation in the area of immigration. It is important to note that state governments are not allowed to enact immigration laws, although recently some local police have been assigned to investigate immigration laws.
Three federal agencies administer and enforce immigration laws. They are as follows:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – Looks into those who break the law, and prosecutes offenders.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – This department looks into applications for legal immigration.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – Ensures that the borders are kept secured.
All the above departments are under the Department of Homeland Security.
If someone wants to enter the US, they have to obtain a visa, via a visa application process. Visas are offered for two reasons, and they are for employment and nonimmigrant visas for tourists, students, and business people who enter the country temporarily.
There are also some citizens from developed countries that are categorized as stable by the US. They are allowed to visit the US without a visa for up to 90 days. The system is called the visa waiver program and is most often used by people visiting the US on holiday. The visa waiver program is available to citizens of 37 countries.