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Encyclopedia > Immigration and Customs Enforcement
 aircraft of the ICE
Pilatus PC-12 aircraft of the ICE

The United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative arm of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is responsible for identifying and shutting down vulnerabilities in the nation's border, economic, transportation and infrastructure security.

ICE, which employs more than 20,000 people, is tasked with the enforcement of immigration and customs laws within the United States, the protection of specified federal buildings, and air and marine enforcement. ICE is headed by an assistant secretary who reports to the undersecretary of homeland security for border and transportation security.


With the establishment of the DHS, the functions, expertise, resources and jurisdictions of several once-fragmented border and security agencies were merged and reconstituted into ICE, the DHS's largest investigative bureau. The agencies that were either moved entirely or merged in part, based upon law enforcement functions, included the investigative and intelligence resources of the United States Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Federal Protective Service and the Federal Air Marshals Service.


ICE is composed of the following operational divisions:

  • Office of Detention and Removal - responsible for promoting public safety and national security by ensuring the departure from the United States of all removable aliens through the fair enforcement of the nation's immigration laws.
  • Office of Air and Marine Operations - responsible for protecting the nation's borders and the American people from the smuggling of people, narcotics and other contraband. Also responsible for detecting and deterring terrorist activity with an integrated and coordinated air and marine interdiction force.
  • Office of Intelligence - responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of strategic and tactical intelligence data for use by the operational elements of ICE and the DHS; responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence to immigration staff at all levels to aid in making day-to-day, mid-term, and long-term operational decisions; acquiring and allocating resources; and determining policy.

External links

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (http://www.ice.gov/)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (http://www.dhs.gov/)

  Results from FactBites:
Feds Crack Down On Green-Card Marriages, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Investigated Nearly 700 Cases In 2005 - ... (945 words)
Federal immigration authorities are investigating whether the three defendants were part of a sham-marriage ring aimed at helping immigrants from Africa obtain their green cards, or permanent U.S. residency.
Immigration officials and prosecutors say phony green-card marriages are a common and growing crime, and they are cracking down.
Immigration officials focus on sophisticated moneymaking rings, not individuals doing someone else a favor, as in the 1990 romantic comedy “Green Card.” In the movie, a Frenchman who wants a green card and a New Yorker who wants an apartment get married, only to fall in love.
Center for Immigration Studies (11295 words)
Customs and immigration investigators were put in the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
And the argument about that is that customs inspectors say that their skills are so specialized that you need a particular customs inspector, and immigration inspectors say the same thing, that the law is so complicated that you need someone who is solely focused on immigration law to deal with that.
There’s a commitment to resources to support enforcement at present if a new piece of legislation that embraced the president’s principles for immigration reform were to come from the hill and he were to sign it.
  More results at FactBites »



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