Secretary Chertoff and President Bush review a map with Deputy chief Patrol Agent Paul Besson during a tour of the El Paso Sector of the U.S.-Mexican border region.
Call The Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement report line at
to report illegal aliens and employers.
The main thrust of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 was on illegal immigrants. Indeed, most of its provisions were aimed at improving the ability of law enforcement agencies, including Federal Immigration enforcement units, to deter illegal migration and combat illegal immigration activity. Therefore, Federal Immigration enforcement units are interested in identifying, and then removing, illegal immigrants from the United States, and in prosecuting those caught pursuing criminal immigration activities.
The United States, as a nation of immigrants, is an ethnically and religiously diverse country. In the years since our establishment, we have become a country with a large number of ethnically diverse native born groups. To this diversity we must add the annual arrival of hundreds of thousands of additional immigrants -- including those coming in through the Diversity Lottery Visa Program -- authorized by the Immigration Act of 1990. People will look and act differently because of this rich diversity. Not everyone who looks or acts different is here illegally. Most of the neighbors and friends and people encountered during daily living will be Americans or aliens here legally for short- or long-term reasons. It is virtually impossible to know the immigration status of people in the United States just by looking at them or listening to them speak. And, as is well known, it is illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion, national origin and so on.
While identifying and dealing with illegal immigration activities is an important element of the Immigration enforcement core mandate, safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans and aliens is also important. The procedures below detail ways for people to report suspected illegal aliens or suspected illegal immigration activities to the Immigration officers. Federal Immigration professionals are the ones with the training and information needed to determine whether or not these suspicions might warrant further investigation.
Therefore, while we appreciate the tips, Immigration will investigate and follow up according to its internal policies, priorities and procedures. Persons reporting such activities should not expect to see immediately any particular action one way or the other. Even in those cases where further investigation is warranted, it takes time for the facts to be known, true status determined, and action authorized.
What Is Considered An Illegal Activity Under Immigration Law?
Here are some examples of the most common violations of United States Immigration laws:
(This is not a complete list of violations.)
* filing false statements on applications or petitions
* making a false claim that you are a United States citizen
* making, altering or using counterfeit immigration documents
* making, altering or using counterfeit documents to support immigration applications or petitions
* failing to report the arrival of illegal aliens
* assisting or encouraging aliens to come to the United States in violation of the law
* harboring an illegal alien
* knowingly employing aliens who do not have permission to work in the United States
* recruiting or referring for a fee aliens who do not have permission to work in the United States
* failing to complete and maintain immigration Form I-9 for all new employees, whether citizens or aliens
* failing to depart the United States when ordered removed (deported)
* entering or attempting to enter the United States at a time or place which is not authorized
* attempting to enter the United States by misrepresenting (lying about) material facts
* entering into a marriage to circumvent the immigration laws
* entering or attempting to enter the United States without permission after having been removed (deported)
* assisting an alien to enter the United States for prostitution or other immoral purposes
Where Can I Find the Law?
The Immigration and Nationality Act is a law that governs the admission of all people to the United States. For the parts of the law concerning illegal immigration activities, please see INA § 212, INA § 235, INA § 271, INA § 272, INA § 273, INA § 274, INA § 274A, INA § 274C, INA § 275, INA § 277, and INA § 278.
How Can I Report Suspected Illegal Alien Activity or a Suspected Illegal Alien?
Each immigration field office has a specific process for reporting suspected illegal alien activity. You should first decide where the suspected illegal alien activity or illegal alien is located. Our offices have areas of jurisdiction that are generally determined by state boundaries. The three immigration related agencies -- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection -- have web sites where you can find immigration information. They are: uscis.gov, ice.gov, and cbp.gov. All three are accessible from the Department of Homeland Security web site -- dhs.gov.
How Will My Information Be Used?
Immigration offices receive hundreds of notifications of suspected illegal alien activity and suspected illegal aliens each year. We use this information in planning our enforcement efforts. We do not provide status on specific reports of illegal activity. Many enforcement actions occur as a result of several sources of information.
Normally, the person that provides the information will not be contacted after the initial report is filed nor kept informed of any actions by Immigration authorities. The person providing the information is not required to give his/her name or other personal information.
We greatly appreciate the assistance of the public in identifying possible suspected illegal alien activity and suspected illegal aliens. If you provide information, it will be evaluated and used to help us better enforce our immigration laws.