Agencies Involved in Immigration



U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is a part of the Department of Homeland Security.

USCIS  decides whether to approve your application, such as immigration petitions; naturalization; political asylum and refugee status.

Department of Justice - Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)

The primary mission of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), that is part of the Department of Justice, is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation’s immigration laws. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings.

EOIR primarily decides whether foreign-born individuals, who are charged by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with violating immigration law, should be ordered removed from the United States or should be granted relief or protection from removal and be permitted to remain in this country.

There are 59 immigration courts nationwide.

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), primarily decides appeals of immigration judge decisions. Certain BIA decisions that the BIA designates as precedent decisions apply to immigration cases nationwide. The BIA is the highest administrative tribunal for interpreting and applying U.S. immigration law.

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) hears cases related to employer sanctions for illegal hiring of unauthorized workers, document fraud, and unfair immigration-related employment practices. (source: www.justice.gov/eoir/index.html)

Department of labor

Within the Department of labor there is the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) that enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act § 274B, 8 U.S.C. § 1324b.

This statute prohibits: 1) citizenship status discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, 2) national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, 3) document abuse (unfair documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification, Form I-9, process, and 4) retaliation or intimidation. (source: www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/)

Types of work-related discrimination that the Office of Special Counsel deals with include:

Citizenship or immigration status discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee by employers with four or more employees.

Employers may not treat individuals differently because they are, or are not, U.S. citizens or work authorized individuals. U.S. citizens, recent permanent residents, temporary residents, asylees and refugees are protected from citizenship status discrimination. Exceptions: permanent residents who do not apply for naturalization within six months of eligibility are not protected from citizenship status discrimination. Citizenship status discrimination which is otherwise required to comply with law, regulation, executive order, or government contract is permissible by law.

National origin discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee, by employers with more than three and fewer than 15 employees.

Employers may not treat individuals differently because of their place of birth, country of origin, ancestry, native language, accent, or because they are perceived as looking or sounding "foreign." All U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and work authorized individuals are protected from national origin discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has jurisdiction over employers with 15 or more employees.

Unfair documentary practices related to verifying the employment eligibility of employees.

Employers may not request more or different documents than are required to verify employment eligibility, reject reasonably genuine-looking documents, or specify certain documents over others with the purpose or intent of discriminating on the basis of citizenship status or national origin. U.S. citizens and all work authorized individuals are protected from document abuse.

Retaliation/Intimidation.

Individuals who file charges with OSC, who cooperate with an OSC investigation, who contest action that may constitute unfair documentary practices or discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status, or national origin, or who assert their rights under the INA's anti-discrimination provision are protected from intimidation, threats, coercion, and retaliation. (Source: www.justice.gov)