Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the investigative arm of the Border and Transportation Security Directorate (BTS), and it operates under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The main task of ICE is to secure the nation’s borders and safeguard its transportation infrastructure. It employs more than 20,000 men and women to enforce laws affecting border security and investigate homeland security crimes. There are six operational divisions within ICE, including Air and Marine Operations, responsible for deterring smuggling and terrorist activity; Detention and Removal Operations, responsible for removing deportable aliens through enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws, Federal Air Marshal Service, responsible deployment of air marshals to detect, deter, and defeat hostile acts that target airlines; Federal Protective Service, responsible for maintaining safety at federal government facilities; Office of Investigations, responsible for investigating violations of immigration and custom laws that might threaten national security; and the Office of Intelligence, responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data for use by ICE, BTS, and DHS.
The ICE was created as a result of the Homeland Security Act (2002), which dissolved the Immigration and Naturalization Service (Department of Justice), the U.S. Customs Service (Department of the Treasury), and the Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection program (Department of Agriculture) and transferred security-related functions to the newly created DHS as of March 1, 2003.

A–Z index