Immigration Myths & Facts for New York and New Jersey
There Is No Immigration & Naturalization
Service in New York City
Myth: INS controls immigration in the United States.
Fact: The Department of Homeland Security controls the Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services. There is no such thing in the U.S. or New York City as an immigration & naturalization service (INS). The Former INS is presently broken into two areas: Benefits and Enforcement. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), who is responsible for green cards, citizenship, applications, work authorization and the like, handle the benefits and applications. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) makes arrests, conducts investigations and is responsible for initiating removal cases, prosecuting removal cases and effecting removal orders by deporting individuals. There is also Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), which conducts inspections at ports of entry, airports and the border and is responsible for securing the borders and inspects and admits or refuses non-citizens from entry to the USA.
Myth: Immigrants drain social services.
Fact: Immigrants who work lawfully pay taxes, pay into Social Security funds, and contribute much more than they use. Even undocumented and illegal immigrants often pay into social security and taxes.
Myth: Immigrants are bad for the economy because they take jobs away from Americans.
Fact: This is not true. If you ask any lawyer who helps clients with immigration or naturalization in New York City, he or she will tell you that most clients have jobs Americans don’t want and those same clients want the responsibilities of being an American as much as the benefits. In addition, immigrant communities revitalize rundown neighborhoods, create jobs and always have been a boom to any economy.
Myth: Immigrants—particularly Latinos—do not want to learn English.
Fact: In 1992, the former Immigration & Naturalization Service in New York City found that 88% of the U.S.-born children of first-generation Latinos speak English very well and that those same first-generation Latinos believed English-language skills mattered to their success.
Myth: Immigrants do not want to become citizens.
Fact: Most do—that’s why they are here. They think the U.S. is a good place, and they are happy to contribute to it.
At Bretz & Coven, we strive always to show the facts and never let the myths overwhelm what your experience is like in the United States. We believe most immigrants want to work hard and succeed in the United States, and we want to help you.