Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Law and Legal Definition

Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) was a federal agency in the Department of Justice that administered and enforced immigration and naturalization laws. However, in 2003, the INS officially ceased to exist, and its functions were taken over by various branches of the Department of Homeland Security. Currently, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) handles immigration benefits, such as applications for asylum, work permits, green cards, and citizenship. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) handles enforcement of the immigration laws within the U.S. borders. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) handles U.S. border enforcement (including the land borders, airports, and seaports).