Commissioners and Directors

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The Immigration Act of 1891 stated that a Superintendent of Immigration would oversee federal immigration law under the Department of the Treasury. An 1895 law changed the title of Superintendent to Commissioner General of immigration. This title remained the same in 1903 when Congress approved the transfer of immigration work to the newly created Department of Commerce and Labor and upgraded the Office of Immigration to the Bureau of Immigration.

In 1906, after citizenship policy became a federal responsibility, the Commissioner of Immigration headed a combined Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization. This continued until 1913, when the Bureau transferred to the new Department of Labor and divided into two separate bureaus: The Bureau of Immigration, under direction of the Commissioner General of Immigration; and the Bureau of Naturalization, under direction of the Commissioner of Naturalization.  In 1933 an Executive Order again combined the two Bureaus forming the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), led by a Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002 dissolved the INS and placed its functions into three separate agencies under the new Department of Homeland Security. On March 1, 2003, the office of Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization ceased to exist. Since that date USCIS has been led by a Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

For a more detailed history of INS see our Agency History page.


Superintendents of Immigration, 1891-1895

Image of William OwenWilliam Owen1891-1893
Image of Herman StumpHerman Stump1893-1895


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Commissioners General of Immigration, 1895-1933

Image of Herman StumpHerman Stump1895-1897
Image of Terence PowderlyTerence V. Powderly1897-1902
Image of Frank SargentFrank P. Sargent1902-1908
Image of Daniel J. KeefeDaniel J. Keefe1909-1913
Image of Anthony CaminettiAnthony J. Caminetti1913-1921
Image of William HusbandWilliam W. Husband1921-1925
Image of Harry HullHarry E. Hull1925-1933


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Commissioners of Naturalization, 1913-1933

Image of Richard CampbellRichard K. Campbell1913-1922
Image of Raymond CristRaymond F. Crist1923-1933


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Commissioners General of Immigration and Naturalization, 1933-2003

Image of Daniel MacCormackDaniel MacCormack1933-1937
Image of James HoughtelingJames Houghteling1937-1940
Image of Lemuel SchofieldLemuel Schofield1940-1942
Image of Earl HarrisonEarl G. Harrison1942-1944
Image of Ugo CarusiUgo Carusi1945-1947
Image of Watson MillerWatson B. Miller1947-1950
Image of Argyle MackeyArgyle Mackey1951-1954
Image of Joseph SwingJoseph M. Swing1954-1962
Image of Raymond FarrellRaymond Farrel1962-1973
Image of Leonard ChapmanLeonard Chapman1973-1977
Image of Leonel CastilloLeonel J. Castillo1977-1979
Image of Alan NelsonAlan C. Nelson1982-1989
Image of Gene McNaryGene McNary1989-1993
Image of Doris MeissnerDoris Meissner1993-2000
Image of James ZiglarJames W. Ziglar2001-2002


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Directors of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2003-Present

Image of Eduardo AguirreEduardo Aguirre2003-2005
Image of Emilio GonzalezEmilio T. Gonzalez2005-2009
Image of Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro Mayorkas2009-2013
Leon RodriguezLeón Rodríguez


Image of L. Francis CissnaL. Francis Cissna2017-2019

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