Before the attack of 9/11 immigration was handled by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. After 9/11 that department was replaced with the Department of Homeland Security. In the past, immigration was largely managed based on how it impacted the country economically. Now it is largely managed based on security threats. Here we’ll take a look at how immigration laws have changed since the attacks of 9/11.
The Laws And The Governing Bodies Changed
Because the attacks now brought to the forefront the need to better protect the borders, the priorities completely changed and that meant that the laws and the governing bodies needed to change as well. The Department of Homeland Security was no longer just charged with the responsibility of managing immigration issues but was now also charged with the responsibility of protecting the country from terrorism.
There were additional departments created for various responsibilities. These include the USCIS, the CBP, and ICE. These agencies are there to collect and manage a wide range of information on travelers that enter the country. When there is a perceived concern then these agencies will question those who fall under some suspicion.
In the past, immigration laws didn’t require a police officer to be fully informed of a person’s status. If a police officer interacted with a foreigner they would do so only with regard to the matter at hand and they wouldn’t inquire as to the person’s immigration status. Because of the new agencies that were established and the tremendous amount of information that is kept on immigrants, the police officer is immediately informed of everything about the person’s status from the moment that they run their driver’s license or otherwise verify their identity.
Immigration Has Continued To Be A Hot Political Issue
From the moment that the Twin Towers came down and it was determined to be the attack of terrorists, the topic of immigration has continued to be a hot political issue and remains so right up to present day. The biggest problem has been getting Congress to be bipartisan in their reform. In fact, the efforts that were previously being made before the attacks were shelved and not revisited again until 2007.
The main reason for this is the fact that the total focus has been on national security rather than immigration policy as it relates to the country in other ways. Another issue that has been significantly affected in recent years is with how our country deals with refugees. Those that believe that our country should be accepting more refugees say that only three of 800,000 that have been accepted since the terrorist attack have been linked to terrorism. Even so, the current administration believes that a reduction in how many refugees we accept can play an important role in protecting the country’s national security.
As it stands right now, there are sweeping changes being made with immigration reform and related laws. There are a number of factors that need to be considered with this issue. Because immigration is a necessary component that our country will always have to deal with, it is one we should strive to do our best with.