Imagility News

Immigration agencies face challenges due to conflicting laws and abrupt policy changes.

The U.S. immigration system wasn’t built for the way people move around the world today.

After 9/11, the government restructured the immigration system to focus on temporary workers from Mexico. This led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which houses three major immigration agencies—Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

These agencies have faced challenges due to policy changes from one administration to another. The focus on preventing terrorism during the Bush administration, the strict policies of Trump, and the more lenient strategies of Obama and Biden have created a sense of whiplash.

The constant changes have even affected the agencies’ mission statements. Under Trump, USCIS dropped the phrase “nation of immigrants,” and Biden later introduced a new mission statement focusing on fairness, integrity, and respect.

The leadership of these agencies has also been impacted, with acting directors and commissioners leading the way due to challenges in Senate confirmations. Trump utilized this flexibility to appoint officials aligned with restrictive immigration policies.

The exhaustion among immigration officers is evident, particularly in the Border Patrol, where the job has shifted over the years. Officers trained before 9/11 focused on border crossings, while the next generation focused on preventing terrorism. The current generation deals more with processing asylum seekers than traditional border enforcement.

Despite challenges, the Biden administration remains optimistic about ICE and CBP, highlighting increased funding and improved equipment. However, USCIS faces financial issues and is stuck implementing an outdated legal immigration system.

Advocates call for increased immigration processing and staffing in agencies like USCIS and immigration courts. They emphasize the need for a system that meets the country’s economic and national security needs while upholding its history as a nation of immigrants.

Source: MSN