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Welcome to the INS legal page. This page provides information on laws, regulations and interpretations controlling immigration and the work of the INS. You can learn how immigration laws are made and how regulations are developed. You can explore agency and judicial interpretations of those laws. You can also find handbooks and guides used by the INS in performing its mission as well as guides created to help you through the immigration process.

The mission of the Office of the General Counsel is to provide legal advice to the Commissioner and officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service concerning issues that arise in conjunction with their performance of their official duties. (8 CFR 100.2(a)(1) and 103.1(b)(1).) There have been rare cases in which a particular program is of such general interest and importance that the INS Office of General Counsel has rendered a formal legal opinion. As a matter of policy, we have determined that providing legal opinions to private parties in matters that may come before the INS is inappropriate. For this reason, we are unable to express an opinion on the issues submitted by the public.

Last Modified 07/18/2002