ONE TEAM, WORKING TOGETHER TO PROTECT THE UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE) STRATEGIC PLAN FY 2010-2014
ICE is the principal criminal investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and one of the three Department components charged with the civil enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. Our primary mission is to protect national security, public safety, and the integrity of our borders through the criminal and civil enforcement of Federal law governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.
PRIORITIES, GOAL, PRIORITIES, GOALS AND STRATEGIES FOR FISCAL YEARS 2010 THROUGH 2014
Between fiscal years (FY) 2010 and 2014, ICE will prioritize its efforts on the first three homeland security missions identified in the 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security Report: (1) preventing terrorism and enhancing security; (2) securing and managing our borders; and (3) enforcing and administering our immigration laws. These priorities, along with ICE’s goals, objectives, and strategies, are set forth below in broad terms, leaving room for adjustment during the next five fiscal years. These goals will guide enforcement initiatives, budget requests, budget execution, resource allocation, and policy decisions.
1. PREVENT TERRORISM AND ENHANCE SECURITY
ICE seeks to prevent terrorist attacks against the United States and to dismantle threats to homeland security before they materialize. This includes preventing the entry of people and materials that pose a threat to national security; investigating and removing suspected terrorists or their supporters; and preventing the export of weapons and sensitive technologies that could be used to harm the United States, its people, and its allies. Recognizing that preventing terrorism and enhancing our nation’s security is a shared responsibility, ICE will work closely and collaboratively with its partners in the intelligence community and in Federal, State, local, and tribal law enforcement.
OBJECTIVE 1.1 Prevent Terrorist Entry into the United States
ICE will expand its efforts to identify and prevent the entry of terrorists or their associates into the United States. ICE will do this in two ways. First, ICE will expand its Visa Security Program to those
U.S. Embassies and Consulates identified by the Departments of State and Homeland Security as having the highest risk from a terrorism perspective. This expansion will proceed in order of risk, subject to appropriations and Departmental approval. Second, ICE will use its broad criminal authorities to investigate, disrupt, and dismantle criminal activities that facilitate terrorist travel to, financing in, or employment in the United States. These criminal activities include alien smuggling with a terrorism nexus; international passport, visa, and identity fraud; illicit financing schemes designed to support terrorists or their associates; and employment authorization fraud at sensitive government, transportation, and industrial facilities in the United States.
OBJECTIVE 1.2 Remove Individuals Posing a Security Threat
ICE will continue to target aliens who pose a threat to national security for apprehension and removal from the United States. ICE will do this through a combined use of intelligence, investigative, detention, and attorney personnel. Principal responsibility in this regard will fall to ICE personnel in ICE’s Compliance Enforcement Unit (CEU), the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), and ICE’s National Security Law Division.
OBJECTIVE 1.3 Support Direct Investigation of Terrorists Through the JTTF
ICE will continue to support and participate in the direct investigation of suspected terrorists through the FBI-led JTTFs. ICE holds the position of the Deputy Director of the National JTTF and is the second largest Federal investigative contributor to the JTTF. Funding permitting, ICE will seek to join all 106 local JTTFs in the country by 2011.
OBJECTIVE 1.4 Protect the United States and its Allies through Counter-proliferation Investigations
ICE will expand its counter-proliferation program, placing the strongest emphasis on the most serious threats, namely state-sponsored attempts to obtain nuclear materials, advanced weaponry, and sensitive technology. ICE will open a Center for Excellence, collect and share intelligence to identify networks that facilitate the trafficking of sensitive technologies and weaponry, and continue initiatives such as Project Shield America to investigate domestic exporters and brokers who illegally export U.S. munitions, dual-use commodities, and other items that could harm our nation’s security and the security of our allies. ICE will use cyber crime expertise to advance investigations of vendors, buyers, and traders who violate export control laws and transfer technology over the Internet.
2. PROTECT THE BORDERS AGAINST ILLICIT TRADE, TRAVEL, AND FINANCE
Transnational criminal and terrorist organizations attempt to exploit lawful movement and transportation systems and to create alternative, illicit pathways through which people and illegal goods—narcotics, funds, and weaponry—can cross the border. ICE plays a critical role in the Department’s layered approach to border security. As DHS’s largest investigative agency, ICE responds to investigate criminal activity if U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) interdicts contraband at the border. ICE then investigates the criminals, criminal enterprises, and networks behind the illicit activity. Protecting and securing the borders involves ICE action overseas, at the border and ports of entry, and inside the United States. Border security includes the ability to control unlawful movement across the border in either direction of people, goods, and contraband, and protecting the movement of lawful commerce. Within that framework, ICE will focus on the following key objectives: (1) dismantling organized alien smuggling; (2) targeting drug trafficking organizations; (3) pursuing international money laundering and bulk cash smuggling; (4) countering international weapons trafficking; (5) targeting human trafficking and trans-national sexual exploitation; and (6) invigorating intellectual property rights investigations to protect lawful commerce.
OBJECTIVE 2.1 Dismantle Cross-Border Criminal Networks through Border Enforcement Security Task Forces
Securing the border against transnational crime and criminal organizations requires innovation as found in ICE’s Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BESTs). Over the next five years, ICE will expand BESTs beyond the existing 17 task forces and the 83 foreign, Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies that actively participate in joint investigations today. ICE will continue to expand cooperation with our foreign law enforcement partners and place vetted members in our BESTs to help ICE better protect its land borders and seaports. ICE will co-locate with our foreign and domestic law enforcement partners to advance immediate and enhanced information sharing and expedite our response to strategic intelligence. ICE will rely heavily on and expand the BEST as a further tool to prevent the smuggling of contraband and aliens at the borders and through our seaports.
OBJECTIVE 2.2 Dismantle Organized Alien Smuggling
To improve enforcement efforts against organized alien smugglers, ICE will reorient and increase its anti-smuggling activities over the next five fiscal years. First, ICE will pursue intelligence-driven investigations to target large scale smuggling organizations regardless of where they operate. Particular emphasis will be placed on those smuggling rings that pose a national security risk, jeopardize lives, or engage in violence, abuse, hostage taking, or extortion. Second, ICE will coordinate with CBP to ensure aggressive investigation and prosecution of individual smuggling cases that arise along the border. Third, ICE will target all links in the smuggling chain, not just the immediate smugglers. For example, ICE will target the overseas recruiters and organizers, the fraudulent document vendors, and the transportation and employment networks within the United States. Finally, ICE will pursue legislation to increase penalties against organized smugglers and provide additional criminal offenses to better address spotters who assist criminals who smuggle aliens and contraband.
OBJECTIVE 2.3 Target Trans-national Sexual Exploitation of Children, Child Sexual Exploitation, and Human Trafficking of Children
A substantial number of children each year fall prey to sexual predators who use international, computer-based networks, or cross borders as they target children for pornography and sexual exploitation. To enhance our work in this area, ICE will use undercover operations and innovative approaches to identify child sex tourists and those who traffic minors and other victims. Essential to our success is coordinating with our national and international partners, both governmental and nongovernmental. To increase leads and disrupt activity, ICE will educate those in the travel and hospitality industry so they can identify indicia of sexual exploitation and trafficking. In addition, ICE will identify and apprehend any removable alien convicted of offenses against minors and, when possible, present such aliens for criminal prosecution. ICE will continue outreach to increase the number of child sex tourism and human trafficking cases identified, investigated, and resolved.
OBJECTIVE 2.4 Target Drug Trafficking Organizations
Securing the border includes reducing the flow of narcotics and combating the violence that flows from drug trafficking. To make the most effective use of our resources, ICE will increasingly prioritize investigations against the highest-level members of violent drug trafficking organizations, along with investigations of narco-terrorists and importers of precursor materials. To do this, ICE will expand the use of electronic surveillance and cooperation with international law enforcement partners, particularly in Mexico, Colombia, and Canada. This cooperation will include intelligence sharing, training, and participation on task forces. Acknowledging that our narcotics investigations must relate to transnational drug trafficking, leads about domestic drug trafficking will be referred to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and other law enforcement agencies. ICE will strengthen relationships and collaboration with CBP and the DEA.
OBJECTIVE 2.5 Pursue Money Laundering and Bulk Cash Smuggling Investigations
Transnational criminal organizations are driven by greed and require money and capital to further their illicit activity. Attacking their proceeds is an effective and important tool to weaken and dismantle criminal organizations. To that end, ICE will direct its expertise in financial investigations toward the investigation of transnational criminal organizations, including terrorists and alien and narcotics smugglers. ICE will use a risk-based approach to prioritize among possible cases against terrorist and criminal organizations. ICE will expand trade-based money laundering enforcement and the Bulk Cash Smuggling Center, which promotes partnerships with other law enforcement agencies and increases opportunities for joint enforcement operations domestically and internationally. To promote heightened information sharing and identify important trends, ICE will strengthen relationships with financial institutions, trade organizations, and other law enforcement agencies.
OBJECTIVE 2.6 Invigorate Intellectual Property Investigations
As an important aspect of the Department’s mission to protect lawful trade and commerce, ICE will increasingly leverage our partnerships with private industry to address and prevent the smuggling of falsely labeled commodities, particularly those that could harm public safety. The Intellectual Property Rights Center will serve as a platform for producing actionable intelligence and coordinating multi-district, multi-agency investigations and seizures. ICE will more aggressively work to protect intellectual property rights, prevent export violations, confront theft via the Internet, and address commercial fraud in collaboration with domestic and foreign law enforcement partners and private industry.
3. Protect the Borders through Smart and Tough Interior Immigration Enforcement
Protecting and securing the borders involves action overseas, at the border and ports of entry, and inside the United States. ICE will engage in effective enforcement at the border and ports of entry by supporting the apprehension, detention, and removal of newly arriving aliens seeking to enter illegally. Within the United States, ICE will pursue an effective worksite enforcement program to reduce the incentive for aliens to come to, enter, and remain unlawfully. ICE also will prioritize the removal of convicted criminal aliens and gang members who undermine public security and reduce the quality of life in our communities. ICE will protect the integrity of the immigration system by enforcing final orders of removal and targeting fraud and abuse that undermine the sound administration of the nation’s immigration laws. Finally, a critical part of immigration enforcement is reforming the immigration detention system.
OBJECTIVE 3.1 Detaining and Removing Aliens Seeking Illegal Entry
The Department of Homeland Security has worked diligently to phase out a practice known as “catch and release.” Now, newly arriving aliens who do not successfully evade detection are apprehended, detained, and removed as appropriate by law. ICE will continue to commit detention and removal resources to support effective border controls.
OBJECTIVE 3.2 Create a Culture of Employer Compliance
The opportunity to work in the United States motivates many to seek illegal entry. Therefore, enforcing the immigration-related employment laws is a critical component of border security. To create a culture of compliance among employers, ICE will use the following two-pronged strategy: (1) aggressive criminal and civil enforcement against those employers who knowingly violate the law; and (2) continued implementation of programs, such as E-Verify and ICE’s IMAGE program, to help employers comply. Criminal investigations will increasingly focus on employers who abuse and exploit workers or otherwise engage in egregious conduct. To support a meaningful civil audit program, ICE will hire additional auditors and centralize some auditing functions. Through the “I E-Verify” campaign, ICE will work with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to increase public support for companies that use compliance tools. Finally, ICE will seek better statutory tools to address illegal employment.
OBJECTIVE 3.3 Prosecute and Remove Criminals and Gang Members
To best protect our communities and public safety, ICE will investigate and remove aliens who present a risk to national security or public safety, including terrorists, gang members, and convicted criminals. To do this most efficiently, ICE will devise a strategy that incorporates all ICE programs with some responsibility in this area. In addition to targeting convicted criminal aliens, ICE will focus on removing transnational gang members and, when possible, charging them and their conspirators with criminal offenses, whether related to violent crime or immigration offenses. Interviewing members and associates in immigration custody is an important tool to collecting intelligence about transnational gangs and their leaders. Involving foreign law enforcement officials and information sharing will advance investigations and efforts to dismantle transnational gangs.
OBJECTIVE 3.4 Protect the Integrity of the Immigration System
Multiple agencies in the executive branch, along with the legislative branch, invest significant resources adjudicating applications for admission and benefits, litigating and deciding immigration cases, and enforcing final orders of removal. To best protect the system, ICE will work closely with USCIS and the Department of State to identify, address, and prevent the many large-scale, organized frauds perpetrated on the government each year. In addition, ICE will pursue criminal cases against individuals who lie on applications, engage in fraud, and pose a threat to national security or public safety. As ICE attorneys have great insight into possible fraud, they will actively refer cases to ICE agents and, as possible, serve as Special Assistant United States Attorneys to assist with prosecutions. ICE will expand the number of document and benefit fraud task forces to every Special Agent in Charge office. Following criminal cases, ICE will work closely with USCIS to address lingering administrative fraud. Also to protect the integrity of the immigration system, ICE will remove aliens who receive final orders, with a focus on convicted criminals and those who have most recently received orders. Similarly, ICE will begin to invest more resources to identify and remove aliens soon after they overstay non-immigrant visas.
OBJECTIVE 3.5 Achieve Efficiency in the Removal Process
To expend government resources wisely, ICE will work to increase efficiency in every step of the removal process—from apprehension through removal—using the institutional removal program and other programs to reduce the duration of an alien’s stay in ICE custody and increase compliance with final orders. Reducing transportation and removal costs is a critical aspect of efficiency. For the same reason, ICE will work closely with the Department of State to improve the process for securing travel documents and country clearances. Also for efficiency, ICE will coordinate budget requests, staffing needs, and facility and court locations with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
OBJECTIVE 3.6 Reform the Detention System to Meet the Needs of ICE
ICE is reforming the immigration detention system to reduce reliance on excess capacity in State and local penal facilities and improve detention conditions and medical care. Within the next five fiscal years, ICE will apply new detention standards to existing facilities and solicit proposals for no less than four regional facilities designed and located to suit the needs of ICE and allow ready access to legal services, visitation, recreation, medical services, emergency rooms, and transportation hubs. A major pillar of detention reform is improving medical, mental health, and dental care, and ensuring more uniform care. With a new classification instrument, ICE will be able to detain aliens in conditions commensurate with their risk and any specialized needs. To ensure proper Federal oversight, ICE will more directly and aggressively monitor the conditions of detention. Recognizing the value of enforcing removal orders without detaining people, ICE will develop a cost effective Alternatives to Detention program that results in high rates of compliance.
4. Construct an Efficient, Effective Agency
The management and organization of ICE must help to propel the success of ICE’s employees, improve employee morale, and the overall mission of ICE. The management functions within ICE will support and soundly advise the operational functions. The development of a well-trained, diverse, and talented workforce is essential to solidifying the agency’s success and reputation as a premier law enforcement agency. Fiscal discipline, sound budgeting, modern information systems, and transparency to the public will continue to guide ICE.
OBJECTIVE 4.1 Realign the Organization’s Responsibilities
ICE’s organization falls intuitively into the following four major areas: criminal investigations; civil immigration enforcement; management; and legal. ICE will begin to more clearly align programs within those major areas to achieve efficiency, promote collaboration, and avoid duplication. With respect to the legal program, the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) will provide high quality, thorough, and timely guidance to other ICE programs, including to our criminal investigators. OPLA will exercise sound discretion and promote efficiency and the agency’s priorities as it exercises the Assistant Secretary’s removal authority in immigration hearings.
OBJECTIVE 4.2 Build and Retain a Stellar Workforce and Management Team
To promote a well-balanced workforce, reduce reliance on contractors and detailees, and build a core of employees and managers who understand congressional relations, the media, the Department, and the full range of ICE’s mission, ICE will identify and institute a career path for agents, officers, attorneys, and other professionals. To succeed in building and retaining a stellar workforce, ICE will expand recruitment efforts, streamline the hiring process, focus on diversity and training, and consider quality of life issues such as joint duty locations for married employees. To ensure sound practices, training will emphasize ethics, integrity, the handling of informants, and criminal law and procedure, and the agency will develop new anti-corruption initiatives, increase awareness of workforce integrity issues, and quickly adjudicate any alleged violations. To aid employees, ICE will gather and standardize all policies and procedures and make current versions readily available.
OBJECTIVE 4.3 Promote the Mission and Success of ICE
Recognizing that the mission of ICE is not broadly understood, ICE will better define itself and promote its mission and success to the Department, public, media, Congress, community groups, and other law enforcement entities. ICE is a premier investigative Federal law enforcement agency—the second largest in the United States—and over the next five fiscal years, young people interested in law enforcement careers will increasingly understand the unique and exciting mission of ICE. As ICE is better understood through increased outreach and branding, employees will feel increasingly proud of the hours they dedicate to the work of ICE.
OBJECTIVE 4.4 Use Resources Wisely
ICE will effectively manage its resources, assets, technology, and information and spend its money wisely, with a full understanding of what its mission costs and how policy decisions influence resource needs. Through thoughtful alignment of strategic goals and objectives, budget requests will accurately reflect ICE’s resource requirements. ICE will incorporate performance elements to measure the outcomes of its resource allocation decisions, budget execution, and capital management efforts. ICE will invest in its infrastructure to eliminate waste, become more energy-efficient, and make optimal use of space, systems, and assets. ICE will proactively identify and correct financial and operational risks and continually strengthen internal controls to safeguard the public’s resources and trust.