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INS Transition And Restructuring

On June 6, President Bush announced his intention to create a Department of Homeland Security. This proposal would consolidate many existing agencies, including INS, into one department. INS Commissioner James Ziglar expressed his immediate support for this proposal and noted, "I know I speak for all 35,000 men and women of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in saying that we at the INS intend to do our part to make the new Department of Homeland Security a success."

Before the Presidentís announcement, INS restructuring had been under consideration by the Congress and the Executive Branch for several years. Creating separate chains of command and accountability for immigration services and enforcement functions had been central to all proposals during this time. The Presidentís Department of Homeland Security proposal and recent congressional legislative activities confirm that a separation of immigration services and enforcement functions remain central to reforming the nation's immigration infrastructure.

As a result, as Congress continues its review of the President's proposal, INS is moving forward with the creation of two new mission- centered bureaus, one for immigration services and one for immigration law enforcement. The Bureau of Immigration Services will provide immigration benefits, such as permanent residence and naturalization. The new Bureau of Immigration Enforcement will safeguard the nation's borders and enforce immigration laws, thereby strengthening the INS's ability to prevent illegal immigration. This fundamental reform will lead to performance improvements and will equip the INS to transition successfully into the new Department of Homeland Security.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Mike Becraft has been appointed to lead the INS Office of Transition and Restructuring, which will coordinate all agency-level activities related to transitioning to the Department of Homeland Security and restructuring immigration services and enforcement functions.

Last Modified 09/13/2002