The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (commonly referred to as ICE) is a branch of the federal government that was first formed in 2003. Although most people know that the agency is involved with deportations and detainments of illegal immigrants, many are confused when it comes to their actual role in the government. So, what does ICE do and how does their agency work?
The Role of ICE in America
The official mission of ICE is to protect America from crimes that occur across the nation’s borders as well as from illegal immigrations into the country that can cause concerns for public safety and national security. A common misconception is that the agency also patrols the American borders and makes arrests at these locations, but this is a role that is taken on by the United States Border Patrol instead. Both agencies are part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); however, and often work together to combat crime and terrorism.
The Effects of Illegal Immigration
In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are around 10.7 million undocumented immigrants. While there are varying reasons for immigrants to illegally enter the United States, the vast number of those residing in the country without legal documentation can lead to serious concerns for the nation. Some of the problems that result from illegal immigration include a strain on public utilities, loss of tax revenue, injuries and illnesses, overpopulation, environmental concerns, a loss of jobs for citizens, a rise in criminal and terrorist activity and less motivation for legal immigration. To keep all these dilemmas at bay, the country must closely monitor who enters the country as well as how many people are arriving at any given time. This can be done properly when immigrants arrive following the proper protocol, but it is impossible when they arrive without documentation.
How ICE Combats Terrorists and Illegal Immigration
Illegal immigrants who are perceived as a risk to national or public safety are a top priority for ICE. They work diligently alongside the Department of Homeland Security to identify, investigate, arrest, and remove individuals that are viewed as a threat by using nearly 400 different statutes as a guideline to keep the country both safe and secure. So, what does ICE do when they encounter a problem? Simply put, they enforce both federal criminal and civil laws regarding everything from terroristic acts to international trades. They do this by using techniques such as the cooperation of defendants, confidential informants, surveillance, and undercover agents.
While preventing attacks on American citizens is of the utmost importance, ICE also aims to identify non-violent illegal immigrants who did not follow the proper protocol for immigration. In some cases, they require these immigrants to report to regular check-ins so that they can monitor their connections and activities in the community and prevent problems like overpopulation or a loss of tax revenue, while other times they remove them from the country. This decision is typically made by an immigration judge and is influenced by a plethora of factors such as their method of entry into the country, the reason for leaving their natural country, their family ties in the U.S., their criminal history and their employment history. ICE may also use the length of time that the immigrant has remained in the United States as a guideline for determining whether the illegal immigrant can remain in the country.
Still wondering, “what does ICE do?” Contact the experts at US Immigration Bonds today to learn more about how ICE operates and how we can help if you or a loved one has been detained by the agency.