ICE was created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the former U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. ICE now has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 48 foreign countries.
The agency has an annual budget of approximately $6 billion, primarily devoted to two operational directorates — Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). A third directorate, Management and Administration (M&A), is charged with providing professional management and mission support to advance the ICE mission.
Enforcement and Removal Operations
ERO enforces the nation’s immigration laws in a fair and effective manner. It identifies and apprehends removable aliens, detains these individuals when necessary and removes illegal aliens from the United States. This unit prioritizes the apprehension, arrest and removal of convicted criminals, those who pose a threat to national security, fugitives and recent border entrants. Individuals seeking asylum also work with ERO. Learn more about ERO.
Homeland Security Investigations
The HSI directorate is responsible for investigating a wide range of domestic and international activities arising from the illegal movement of people and goods into, within and out of the United States. Learn more about HSI.
Management and Administration
ICE’s Management and Administration includes professional managers and mission support staff who make the ICE mission possible.