The United States has long been called a nation of immigrants. Nearly one million immigrants arrive in America each year and the United States Census Bureau estimates that there were 37.6 million foreign-born people living in the United States in 2010.
Our immigrant past has served as the very foundation of our nation’s culture, arts and industry. America is known as a melting pot, embracing individuals from many different cultures, races and religions around the world, longing for freedom, better economic opportunities, and a new way of life. No other nation in the world boasts such a diverse population: our diversity drives our innovation and entrepreneurship and opens the door to new markets.
Immigrating to the United States has always been a long and challenging process. In the early years, immigrants encountered extreme hardships as they sailed across the ocean to reach the United States. American society did not always welcome these new immigrants and many individuals and families faced racial discrimination and other prejudices as they attempted to start a new life in America. While the immigration process still remains difficult today, the U.S. admits more legal immigrants as permanent residents than any other nation in the world. According to U.S. Census Bureau reports, approximately 12.5 percent of the U.S. population is foreign-born, with the largest immigrant groups being from Mexico, China, India and the Philippines.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees all lawful immigration to the United States. USCIS is a part of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and performs the majority of the administrative duties previously carried out by the former United States Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), which was a component of the Department of Justice. USCIS is comprised of 18,000 federal employees and contractors working at 250 offices around the world.
The mission of USCIS is as follows:
To secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by providing accurate and useful information to our customers, granting immigration and citizenship benefits, promoting an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensuring the integrity of our immigration system.
USCIS’s strategic goals include strengthening the security and integrity of the immigration system, promoting flexible and sound immigration policies and programs, and supporting immigrant integration and involvement in American civic culture.
Miranda & Weisman has a strong knowledge of the complex procedures and operations of the USCIS. Our legal team understands the laws and regulations that govern who may enter the United States, dictate the duration of their visit, and allow non-citizens to naturalize and become U.S. citizens.
You should consult a Baltimore immigration law firm regarding your questions about the U.S. immigration process. We encourage you to review the information below and contact our Baltimore immigration law firm to learn more about how we represent individuals and businesses in a variety of immigration matters.