How Do I Report Suspected Illegal Aliens or Suspected Illegal Immigration Activity?
What Is Considered An Illegal Activity Under Immigration Law?
Where Can I Find the Law?
How Can I Report Suspected Illegal Alien Activity or a Suspected Illegal Alien?
How Will My Information Be Used?
The main thrust of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996 was on illegal immigrants. Indeed, most of its provisions were aimed at improving the ability of law enforcement agencies, including the enforcement units of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), to deter illegal migration and combat illegal immigration activity. Therefore, the INS is interested in identifying, and then removing, illegal immigrants from the United States, and in prosecuting those caught pursuing criminal immigration activities.
The United States, as a nation of immigrants, is an ethnically and religiously diverse country. In the years since our establishment, we have become a country with a large number of ethnically diverse native born groups. To this diversity we must add the annual arrival of hundreds of thousands of additional immigrants including those coming in through the Diversity Lottery Visa Program -- authorized by the Immigration Act of 1990. People will look and act differently because of this rich diversity. Not everyone who looks or acts different is here illegally. Most of the neighbors and friends and people encountered during daily living will be Americans or aliens here legally for short- or long-term reasons. It is virtually impossible to know the immigration status of people in the United States just by looking at them or listening to them speak. And, as is well known, it is illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion, national origin and so on.
While identifying and dealing with illegal immigration activities is an important element of the INS core mandate, safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans and aliens is also important. The procedures below detail ways for people to report suspected illegal aliens or suspected illegal immigration activities to the INS. INS professionals are the ones with the training and information needed to determine whether or not these suspicions might warrant further investigation.
Therefore, while we appreciate the tips, INS will investigate and follow up according to its internal policies, priorities and procedures. Persons reporting such activities should not expect to see immediately any particular action one way or the other. Even in those cases where further investigation is warranted, it takes time for the facts to be known, true status determined, and action authorized.
Here are some examples of the most common violations of United States Immigration laws:
(This is not a complete list of violations.)
Each INS field office has a specific process for reporting suspected illegal alien activity. You should first decide where the suspected illegal alien activity or illegal alien is located. Our offices have areas of jurisdiction that are generally determined by state boundaries. Please see our field offices home page to find the location of the immigration office that will need the information you can provide. Each field office home page has a section entitled "About Us." Within this section, look under "Contacting Us" and then scroll down to "Enforcement Activities." Here we explain how to report suspected illegal alien activity or illegal aliens.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service receives hundreds of notifications of suspected illegal alien activity and suspected illegal aliens each year. We use this information in planning our enforcement efforts. The INS does not provide status on specific reports of illegal activity. Many enforcement actions occur as a result of several sources of information.
Normally, the person that provides the information will not be contacted after the initial report is filed nor kept informed of any actions by INS. The person providing the information is not required to give his/her name or other personal information.
We greatly appreciate the assistance of the public in identifying possible suspected illegal alien activity and suspected illegal aliens. If you provide information, it will be evaluated and used to help us better enforce our immigration laws.