Agencies that make up the US immigration system

The creation of the Department of Homeland Security dismantled what was then the Immigration and Naturalization Service and divided its functions into three core agencies:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Budget: $5.8 billion.


Employees: 20,000 , including investigators and staff nationwide and in 47 foreign countries.

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Purpose: Enforcing immigration laws, investigating violators, carrying out deportations, and operating the massive immigration system.

Customs and Border Protection

Budget: $11.7 billion.

Employees: 60,399, including 21,000 agents patrolling the country’s borders and 21,000 officers conducting inspections and patrolling points of entry.


Purpose: Securing the country’s border and regulating immigration, and facilitating international travel and trade by inspecting goods arriving in the country.

Citizenship and Immigration Services

Budget: $2.97 billion, along with $102.4 million for E-Verify, an online system for companies to check their employees’ ability to work in the United States.

Employees: 11,315, not including contractors.

Purpose: Oversees legal immigration and works with people seeking lawful US residency and benefits. The agency also runs E-Verify.

Also involved in the immigration system:


Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice

Budget: $329.8 million

Employees: 1,707

Purpose: Administers the 58 immigration courts in the country.