Criminal Defense of Immigrants


§ 1.7 D. A Note on Terminology

Skip to § 1.

For more text, click "Next Page>"

Historically, the process of expelling a noncitizen from the United States was called "deportation."  In 1996, however, Congress revised the process of expelling a noncitizen from the United States, and renamed the process "removal."  It also included in the removal process the task of excluding a noncitizen from the United States for a ground of inadmissibility, as well as deporting a noncitizen for a ground of deportation.  See § 15.3, infra. 


                The immigration laws of the United States had previously been administered by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (or INS).  On March 1, 2003, however, Congress dismantled the INS, and divided its former responsibilities among three new agencies now located within the Department of Homeland Security (or DHS).[2]  These new agencies are:


(1) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with responsibility for all benefits adjudications (including adjudications of visa petitions, employment authorizations, and changes of nonimmigrant status, temporary protected status, and adjustment of status);


(2) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with a combined responsibility for immigration and customs enforcement functions (including investigations, detention, and removal); and


(3) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with responsibility for the border (including the Border Patrol and port of entry inspections functions).[3]


See § 15.10, infra.


The legislation provides that all legal references to the former INS or its officials in statutes, regulations, executive orders, directives, and other documents, will now be deemed to be references to the Department of Homeland Security or its officers, employees, or organizational units.[4]  See generally Chapter 15, infra.

[2] Homeland Security Act of 2002 (HSA), Pub. L. No. 107-296 (2002).

[3]  D. Kesselbrenner & L. Rosenberg, Immigration Law and Crimes § 1:2 (2007) (footnotes omitted).

[4] Homeland Security Act of 2002, § 1512(d), Pub. L. No. 107-296, 116 Stat. 2135.