While the laws governing immigration into the United States are federal laws, the enforcement of those laws may fall to federal or state agencies.
At the federal level, American immigration laws are monitored and enforced by several agencies, including:
Federal law encourages the cooperation of state and local authorities in the enforcement of federal immigration law. The federal government has set precedent for cooperation between state and local law enforcement in areas such as Border Enforcement Security Task Forces, the Criminal Alien Program, and the National Fugitive Operations Program, among others.
In addition, Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), entitled Delegation of Immigration Authority, encourages state and local police to work jointly with the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws. Section 287(g) grants the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the authority to enter into formal written agreements with state and local police and grant state and local law enforcement officers the ability to function as federal immigration agents. The written agreements, called Memoranda of Agreements (MOAs), are negotiated between the DHS and local authorities under the supervision of ICE.
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