I’ve discussed immigration court defense and would like to continue this subject by reporting something that happened a few years ago in the world of immigration law that it is very important.

There are many different sources of immigration law.  Many of my clients are not aware of from where exactly the law comes.  Before I can explain what happened, I would like to explain where U.S. immigration law comes from.

First and most importantly, the U.S. Constitution specifies what powers the federal government and the governments of the fifty states may have.  The U.S. Constitution says very specifically that the U.S. federal government has all responsibility for U.S. immigration law.  That means that immigration law is mostly written by the U.S. Congress.  Over the years, the Congress has gradually written all immigration laws into one big law called the “Immigration and Naturalization Act,” and Congress has changed it many times.  Immigration lawyers and other refer to this law as the “INA,” and we all have a book-copy of it on our desks!

The INA is only one source of immigration law.  Many different courts make rulings that become law as well.  In the United States, there are several different systems of courts.  The two most important court systems are the court systems of the fifty states, like the courts of Michigan, and then the U.S. federal courts and courts of appeal.  However, only the U.S. federal courts and courts of appeals have power over and can make and affect immigration law.

Additionally, the U.S. Congress has created special courts that only handle immigration cases, and these courts are controlled and administered by the President of the United States.  These courts that the President operates and controls are the immigration courts, with which so many people in this community are familiar.  There is only one immigration court located in Michigan, and that court is in Detroit.

The U.S. Congress also gave the President the power to create another court that reviews all decisions of immigration court judges.  This court is called the “board of immigration appeals,” or “BIA,” and it is located near Washington D.C.  If a person receives a decision that they do not agree with from an immigration judge, then he or she can appeal to the BIA.

Also, the President of the United States has many “secretaries” that report to him.  These are the “Secretary of Defense,” the “Secretary of Homeland Security,” the “Attorney General,” and many others.  The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General also have the power to make decisions affecting immigration law.  In fact, the DACA program that was passed in 2012 was basically created by the President and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

It is important that the reader understand these things before I can talk about a very large change that took place in immigration law.  If you or anyone you know has been arrested by immigration, please have them contact an attorney as soon as possible.  

Thanks for reading!