ICE is the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agency is made up of men and women who enforce federal laws regarding customs, border control, immigration and trade. The goal of the agency is to protect the security and safety of the general public.
ICE was established in 2003 as a result of a merger between different departments within the U.S. Customs and Naturalization Service. There are approximately 20,000 people who work for ICE in some capacity in over 400 offices around the globe. The agency works with an annual budget of about $6 billion.
The agency’s budget is used for three major directorates: Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). Management and Administration supports all three branches and, according to the agency, makes its mission possible.
OPLA is the legal representative present in all cases dealing with deportation, exclusion and removal proceedings. HSI investigates the illegal movement of goods and people within the country’s borders, and ERO is the branch that enforces the laws regarding immigration.
Dealing with ICE is not always a negative thing, but those who are contacted by a member of the agency may benefit from the experience of an immigration attorney. An attorney can determine why a person has been contacted by the agency and what steps need to be taken. If you live in Washington state, an immigration attorney can answer your questions and provide more information about U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement.