Alaska Immigration Laws

The immigration usually refers to the movement of non-native people into a country to settle there. The immigration laws include the policies of government to control the entry of non-native into a country. Each country will have specific laws regarding the immigration which might differ from that of the other countries, it may also vary depending on the political status of the country.

History of US Immigration Laws

The Naturalization Law of 1790 was the first law put forward in U.S. to naturalize the foreigners. But soon the immigration of Chinese people in to the country was banned through another act referred to as the Chinese Exclusion Act. In 1924 another act referred to as The Immigration Act was implemented according to which only specific number of passengers from each country was allowed to immigrate to the United State. Finally, in 1952, an Immigration and Naturalization Service was Started in United States as per the Immigration and Naturalization Act. The federal government has five departments which deal with the countries immigration. These departments are The Department of Justice, The Department of Home Land Security, The Department of Health and Human Service, The Department of State and The Department of Labor. Currently, the U.S. issues two types of visas namely the Immigrant Visa and the Non Immigrant Visa. The former is meant for people planning to live in U.S and the later for people who plans for a short term visit.

Immigration Law of Alaska

For several years the Immigration and Naturalization Service was responsible for structuring immigration and naturalization facilities for the non natives. But with the creation of the Home land Security Department, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has been taken out from the Department of Justice and its functions were split and then replaced into several bureaus in the new department. Examples for such bureaus include the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service (BCIS), Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE), Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP) etc.

The headquarters of Immigration and Naturalization service is located in Anchorage and thus its functions are administrated from there. The Immigration and Naturalization Service function includes only few people compared to the vast area. According to the report of Immigration and Naturalization service in the Fiscal Year 2001 or FY 2001, there were a total of 1,401 immigrants residing in Alaska which included 366 Philippines, 94 Canadians, 89 Russians, 79 Koreans, and 126 Mexicans etc. According to the Naturalization law, the immigrants who have been staying in Alaska for more than five years will be eligible for the U.S citizenship. And in FY 2001, 710 immigrants residing in Alaska were given Citizenship which included 170 Philippines, 87 Koreans, and 60 Mexicans etc.

Immigration Court in Alaska

The cases regarding the immigration are handled by the Executive Office for Immigration Review or EOIR. The EOIR comes under the Department of Justice. The Immigration court is situated in Anchorage and is responsible for handling such cases through out the State. These cases are heard by an immigration Judge who travels to the state for a period of one week several times in a year. Master Calendar Hearing is conducted through video once or twice a month. It normally combines the docket control with the first hearing. Appeals are provided by the Immigration Court through the Board of Immigration Appeal (BIA).The decisions taken by the BIA will be gone for judicial review in the Federal Court.

The individuals who are not able return or who are not willing to return to their Native country due to persecution may apply for asylum. The asylum application ca be done either through an interview with an asylum officer of Immigration and Naturalization Service or though an immigration Judge if it has been apprehended. About 28,000 individuals were given asylum in 2001.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has the power to arrest the non-natives who are staying in Alaska illegally. These types of arrests are known as Apprehension. To enforce the Immigration law, the inspection officers of Immigration and Naturalization Service continuously monitors the source of entry like airports and also carries out many investigations. The Immigration and Naturalization Service also has the power for expedited removal of the individuals from Alaska. The expedited removal refers to the removal of an inadmissible individual at the point of entry without any hearing by the officers of Immigration and Naturalization Service. From the FY 1999 to the FY 2003 about 137 expedited removals has taken place in Alaska. This included both from air port and also sea port for fishing violations.

Alaska Travel Guide