Archive | Immigration and Customs Enforcement RSS for this section

Mistake costs dishwasher $59,000

Via CNN.com


  • Guatemala native Pedro Zapeta a dishwasher in the U.S. for 11 years


  • The illegal immigrant tried to bring $59,000 in savings back to Guatemala

  • U.S. customs seized cash when Zapeta failed to fill out form declaring money

  • Zapeta, who tried to get the money back for two years, now faces deportation

  • Continue reading

    Only feds may enforce immigration law

    Via Elpasotimes.com

    Editorial by Attorney Ouisa D. Davis which discusses the fact that local law-enforcement officers have no authority to enforce immigration law.

    ICE: Tab to remove illegal residents would approach $100 billion

    CNN recently reported that it would cost approximately $100 billion to remove all 12 million people in the U.S.  “An ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] spokesman later said the $94 billion did not include the cost of finding illegal immigrants, nor court costs — dollar amounts that are largely unknowable.” 

    Another unknowable number, and one most relevant and material in my opinion, is the actual number of undocumented workers in the U.S. – some have put this number as high as 20 million, as opposed to ICE’s estimate of 12 million.  Secondly, the cost of finding and processing/prosecuting these undocumented people is ‘unknowable’ according to ICE, and hasn’t been factored into the $100 billion amount [which only includes ICE personnel costs, room and board in a detention cell for 32 days as well as transportation back to the person’s home country].  These two additional costs would easily dwarf the prison and transportation costs.

    Collateral costs would be immense as well.  Employers would lose
    billions; so would the retail industry, housing market, auto dealers and banks, to name a few. 

    Bottom line: the actual cost may be more than double ICE’s figure, plus the aforementioned collateral costs.  Even assuming the money is made available, and assuming that the 12-20 million people can somehow be found, logistical bottlenecks in ICE manpower, court access and detention cells, as well as the grim reality of the true economic impact of such a move will preclude any serious attempt to mount a large scale removal program. 

    ICE’s cost analysis is not helpful, accurate or realistic.  They may just as well have announced the cost of a popsicle stick ladder to the moon without factoring in the cost of glue, and while pointedly ignoring the laws of gravity and physics.  We need to face reality and look to comprehensive immigration reform.

    U.S. Deports Parents of Dead Soldiers

    Via Alternet

    Three years after U.S. Army Private Armando Soriano, 20, died fighting
    in Haditha, Iraq, his father is facing deportation. Soriano is now
    buried in Houston, Tex., his hometown, where his parents, undocumented
    workers from Mexico, are currently living.

    Continue reading

    Immigrants Mistreated, Report Says


    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, January 17, 2007; Page A08



    U.S. authorities mistreated suspected illegal immigrants at five prisons and jails nationwide, violating federal standards meant to ensure safe and humane custody, according to a government report released yesterday.


    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and contractors denied timely medical treatment to some of the immigrants, failed to disclose and justify disciplinary actions against them, and improperly limited access to relatives, lawyers and immigration authorities, according to the Department of Homeland Security inspector general.


    Detention officers failed to establish a system to report abuse and violated health and safety rules by neglecting to monitor prisoners on hunger strikes or suicide watches and by serving undercooked food, the report said.


    The report comes amid a sharp increase in illegal immigrants in U.S. detention as Congress and the Bush administration debate an overhaul of immigration laws and promise tougher enforcement of existing laws. Civil liberties and immigrant advocacy groups are stepping up scrutiny of conditions. Jorge Bustamante, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights of immigrants, has asked to visit U.S. detention centers next month.

    Continue reading

    Posada Makes 1st Court Appearance


    By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
    The Associated Press
    Tuesday, January 16, 2007; 9:46 PM



    EL PASO, Texas — An anti-Castro militant indicted on charges of lying to federal immigration agents in a bid to become a naturalized citizen made his first court appearance Tuesday.


    Shackled at the wrists and ankles, Luis Posada Carriles was read the charges in a seven-count indictment made public last week but did not enter a plea. He was ordered held without bail pending a bond hearing Friday.


    Posada, 78, a former CIA operative and U.S. Army soldier, has been held at an El Paso immigration detention center since May 2005 on a charge that he entered the country illegally through Mexico.


    The indictment says Posada entered the country on a boat, instead of with the help of a human smuggler as he claims. It also alleges he lied about having a Guatemalan passport and using an alias, among other things.

    Continue reading

    Church Concerned About Possible Immigration Raid

    12/29/2006
    Via Fox28.com

    Members of a Chicago storefront church say they
    fear U.S. authorities are planning to raid their building and arrest an
    illegal immigrant who has taken refuge there.

    Adalberto United Methodist Church has sheltered Elvira Arellano and her 8-year-old son since August.

    That’s when Arellano was supposed to be deported. But instead she
    sought sanctuary at the church, claiming she didn’t want to be
    separated from her son who is a U.S. citizen.

    The Reverend Walter Coleman says neighborhood residents reported seeing
    U.S. marshals taking pictures of the church Tuesday night.

    In response, church members say they plan to stand guard in doorways, windows and the building’s rooftop in a 24-hour vigil.

    A spokesman for the U.S. marshal’s office says the agency would not be involved in the matter.

    16 Charged with Concealing Bosnian Serb Military Service When Entering U.S.

    VIA Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Website

    WASHINGTON—
    Sixteen individuals in six states have been charged with criminal
    violations in connection with their efforts to obtain refugee status in
    the United States by concealing their prior service in the Bosnian Serb
    military, Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and
    Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty
    and announced today.

    The defendants allegedly committed immigration fraud and/or made
    false statements by concealing their prior service in these Bosnian
    Serb military units when filing immigration applications with the U.S.
    government. The fraudulent applications enabled the defendants to gain
    refugee status, which allowed them to enter and reside in the United
    States. One of the defendants became a U.S. citizen.

    In the past week, special ICE agents arrested 13 of the defendants
    in Orlando and St. Petersburg, FL, Raleigh, High Point NC, Milwaukee,
    Detroit, Cleveland and Denver. The remaining criminal defendants are at
    large.

    According to indictments and criminal complaints filed in the Middle
    District of Florida, the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Middle
    District of North Carolina, the District of Colorado, the Eastern
    District of Michigan, and Northern District of Ohio, the defendants had
    served in the Bosnian Serb military. One of the defendants, Nedjo
    Ikonic, 40, is described in a federal affidavit in Wisconsin as having
    been a commander of a police unit that cooperated with other Bosnian
    Serb entities in the July 1995 massacre of Muslims in Srebrenica.

    “Since its founding, the United States has attracted refugees
    escaping from persecution and atrocities in their countries of origin,”
    said ICE Assistant Secretary Myers. “ICE will not allow the United
    States to be a safe haven for those who failed to disclose their
    service in military forces that were known to commit atrocities.  We
    will continue to work closely with our international partners to
    relentlessly pursue such criminals.” 

    All but one of the defendants face criminal charges that include
    immigration fraud and/or making false statements. The maximum sentence
    for making false statements is five years in prison, while the maximum
    sentence for immigration fraud is 10 years imprisonment. One defendant
    has been charged with unlawful procurement of citizenship, which
    carries a maximum potential sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

    “These cases demonstrate our resolve to identify and prosecute those
    who enter this country under false pretenses, especially those who hide
    their military past,” said Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty. 

    Special ICE agents investigated these cases with assistance from the
    Office of Special Investigations of the Justice Department’s Criminal
    Division. They are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for
    the Middle District of Florida; Eastern District of Wisconsin; Middle
    District of North Carolina; District of Colorado; Eastern District of
    Michigan; and Northern District of Ohio. The Office of Special
    Investigations is also participating in the prosecution of the U.S.
    citizen defendant in Tampa.

    The indictments and criminal complaints filed in these cases contain
    mere allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until
    proven guilty.

    The defendants are as follows:

    Middle District of Florida

    Sekula Bilic, indicted on one count of immigration fraud and one count of making false statements.

    Zdravko Kordic, indicted on one count of immigration fraud.

    Branko Popic, indicted on one count of immigration fraud and one count of making false statements.

    Ostoja Saric, indicted on one count of immigration fraud and one count of making false statements.

    Strahinja Krsmanovic, indicted on one count of immigration fraud.

    Boro Stojanovic, indicted on one count of immigration fraud.

    Jadranko Gostic, indicted on one count of unlawful procurement of citizenship and one count of making false statements.

    Zoran Radic, indicted on one count of immigration fraud and making false statements. Radic remains at large.

    Dusan Bosnjak, indicted on one count of immigration fraud and making false statements. Bosnjak remains at large.

    Bogdan Panic, indicted on one count of naturalization fraud and making false statements. Panic remains at large.

    Eastern District of Wisconsin

    Nedjo Ikonic, charged with one count of immigration fraud.

    Middle District of North Carolina

    Milivoje Jankovic, indicted on two counts of immigration fraud and two counts of making false statements.

    Veselin Vidacak, indicted on two counts of immigration fraud and two counts of making false statements.

    District of Colorado

    Milisav Vukovic, charged with one count of false statements.

    Eastern District of Michigan

    Nedjo Lojpur, indicted on two counts of immigration fraud.

    Northern District of Ohio

    Ratko Maslenjak, charged with one count of immigration fraud.

    — ICE —


    U.S.
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003
    as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland
    Security. ICE is comprised of four integrated divisions that form a
    21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a
    number of key homeland security priorities.

     

    ICE Raid Protests Get Heated

    Via KTTC
    12/18/2006


    AUSTIN, MN
    — Recent federal raids of undocumented workers across the country sparks a loud reaction in Austin.

    Protesters for and against the recent ICE raids congregated on Main Street in Austin. Many began their trek with a prayer.

    “The idea that these raids are going on because of identity theft is a
    bogus cover story,” said Peter Brown, from the National Lawyers Guild.

    According to Brown, an immigration attorney, 230 people were arrested
    in Worthington last week and none of them were charged with identity
    theft.

    Continue reading

    Tough choices face women separated from spouses by immigration law


    RICHMOND, Va.

    Whenever someone knocks on the door, Beatriz Marquez’s 2-year-old son gets excited.

    “Daddy coming?” Anthony asks repeatedly in Spanish. “No, Daddy is working,” she tells him.

    The
    little boy has been waiting for his father to come home for more than
    three months. The last time he saw Victor Orellana, he was in handcuffs
    on his way to jail.

    Orellana, 28, who was in the U.S.
    illegally, was deported to El Salvador in October, a month and a half
    after he was detained at his home in Henrico County by U.S. Immigration
    and Customs Enforcement agents.

    During the most recent fiscal
    year, 186,641 immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally were deported.
    Of those, 1,576 lived in Virginia and the nation’s capital.

    Marquez and her children are living the consequences of her husband’s deportation, and she is not alone.

    A
    Times-Dispatch reporter spoke with a handful of women in the Richmond
    area–some of them in the country legally, others not _ whose husbands
    have been deported recently. Their lives, and the lives of their
    children, were turned upside down in a heartbeat.

    Suddenly,
    the women found themselves frantically trying to save their husbands
    from deportation. Some had to move out of their homes because they
    couldn’t work to pay the rent while caring for their children.

    Continue reading

    Senator’s wife in hiding after deportation threat

    Via CNN.com
    12/05/2006

    ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) — State Sen. Curt Thompson has been a
    strong advocate of immigration rights, once speaking in Spanish from
    the steps of the Georgia Capitol against the adoption of some of the
    nation’s strictest immigration controls.

    Now Thompson’s Colombian-born wife is in hiding as federal immigration officials try to deport her.

    Sascha
    Herrera, 28, has been in hiding since Immigration and Customs
    Enforcement officers arrived at her home November 28 with an order to
    remove her from the U.S. She was not home at the time.

    Her
    attorney, Charles Kuck, claims she was duped by a man handling her
    immigration requests and that she never received the immigration
    notices that triggered her deportation order. While Kuck says neither
    he nor her husband know where Herrera is, he said that she will turn
    herself in Tuesday.

    “It’s the right thing to do. She needs to get the law to work for her,” Kuck said.

    Kuck
    filed a petition Monday to halt her deportation order and reopen her
    case, arguing that a man filed an asylum petition on her behalf without
    her knowledge and before her husband sponsored her green card
    application based on their April marriage.

    The deportation order
    stems from Herrera’s repeated failure to appear before a judge on the
    asylum application, which Kuck said she did not know had been filed.

    The
    case hinges on whether Herrera received a notice to appear in court,
    and whether the asylum application could have been filed without her
    knowledge, said Victor Cerda, former general counsel for Immigration
    and Customs Enforcement.

    According to Kuck, Herrera came to the
    U.S. — where her parents have been living — on a visitor visa in
    2003. She applied for an extension to the visa through a “notario” — a
    man who claimed he was qualified to handle legal immigration matters —
    but did not get it until 20 days before the extension was due to expire.

    The
    notario then suggested an asylum application, which Herrera signed, but
    she got a “bad vibe” from the man and decided not to proceed, Kuck said.

    Later
    in 2004, she was accepted as a student at Kennesaw State University,
    which earned her a student visa. She then told the notario she did not
    want anything to do with him.

    She met Thompson last year and they
    got married in April, when he applied for her to become a permanent
    resident. Kuck said Herrera’s husband, a Democrat and attorney, would
    not comment on the case.

    But in the meantime, the notario filed
    the asylum application, listing his address as hers. A telephone number
    listed for the notario, identified as Tomas Vilela, was being answered
    Monday by a fax machine.

    Cerda said the deportation order in the
    asylum case would trump any pending green card application and trigger
    mandatory detention.

    Her decision to hide could hurt her request
    for a judge’s stay on deportation, Cerda said. If she turns herself in,
    she could remain in the U.S. while her petition is pending, either in
    jail or released on bond.

    Fact Sheet: ICE Accomplishments in Fiscal Year 2006

    Release Date: October 30, 2006

    ICE PRESS RELEASE

    Under the
    leadership of Assistant Secretary Julie Myers, U.S. Immigration and
    Customs Enforcement (ICE) achieved historic results in FY 2006. ICE set
    new records for enforcement activity, ended the long-standing practice
    of “catch-and-release” along the nation’s borders, launched major new
    initiatives, transformed its detention and removal process, and
    improved its intelligence functions. Some of these milestones include:

    • Set New Records for Worksite Enforcement: Total
      arrests made in ICE worksite enforcement cases during FY 2006 reached a
      level that was more than seven times greater than in 2002, the last
      full year of operations for U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
    • Ended “Catch-and-Release” Along the Borders: The
      practice of “catch and release” for non-Mexican aliens existed for
      years and was one of the greatest impediments to border control. In
      2006, the Department of Homeland Security and ICE re-engineered the
      detention and removal process to end this practice along the border, an
      accomplishment considered impossible in 2005 when only 34 percent of
      non-Mexican aliens apprehended along the border were being detained.
    • Set New Record for Alien Removals: ICE removed
      more than 186,600 illegal aliens from the country in FY 2006, a record
      for the agency and a ten percent increase over the number of removals
      during the prior fiscal year. ICE also increased its detention bed
      space by 6,300 during the fiscal year 2006, bringing the current number
      of funded beds to 27,500 immigration detainees.
    • Nearly Tripled the Number of Fugitive Operations Teams:
      During FY 2006, ICE nearly tripled the number of fugitive operations
      teams deployed nationwide from 18 to 50. These additional teams
      maximized the efficiency of ICE immigration enforcement efforts to
      locate, apprehend and remove primarily criminal aliens.
    • Created a National Center to Coordinate Deportation of Aliens Upon Release from Prison:
      ICE created a national center that reviews aliens at all 119 federal
      detention facilities (as opposed to only 30 federal facilities in
      2005), to ensure that criminal aliens are deported rather than released
      into society upon the completion of their sentences.
    • Increased Arms and Strategic Technology Investigations:
      ICE set a record in 2006 for arms and strategic technology
      investigations by providing additional training in this area, and
      doubling the number of personnel assigned to these investigations.
      Indictments in these cases increased by 81 percent over the prior year,
      while arrests rose 36 percent and convictions rose 13 percent.
    • Dismantled one of the World’s Most Powerful Drug Cartels:
      ICE concluded a 15-year probe into Colombia’s Cali drug cartel, once
      responsible for 80 percent of the world’s cocaine supply, with the
      cartel leaders being sentenced to 30-year prison terms and agreeing to
      a $2 billion forfeiture. Roughly141 cartel members have been arrested,
      indicted, or convicted in this case.
    • Increased Use of Financial Authorities in Immigration Investigations:
      ICE continued to apply its financial investigative authorities to human
      smuggling cases and other immigration-related cases. As a result, the
      amount of assets seized in these cases has risen from almost nothing
      before ICE was created, to some $20 million in FY 2004, to nearly $42
      million in FY 2006.
    • Targeted Transnational Gangs: Through Operation
      Community Shield, ICE arrested some 2,290 gang members nationwide in FY
      2006, and a total of 3,700 total since February 2005.

    ICE Accomplishments in Fiscal Year 2006

    Re-Inventing Immigration Enforcement

    Enhancing Worksite Enforcement Efforts.

    • ICE arrested 716 individuals on criminal charges (against both
      employers and employees) and 3,667 individuals on administrative
      charges in worksite enforcement investigations.
    • Combined, these figures are more than seven times greater than the
      total number of individuals arrested in worksite enforcement cases by
      the INS in 2002, its last full year of operation.

    Applying Financial Investigative Tools to Immigration Investigations

    • Traditional immigration cases, like investigations of human
      smuggling organizations, were advanced through the use of traditional
      customs investigative techniques like targeting the financial proceeds
      of these criminal organizations.
    • As a result, the total amount of assets seized through
      immigration-related cases has increased from virtually nothing before
      ICE was created in March 2003, to approximately $20 million in FY04 to
      almost $42 million in FY06.

    Addressing Vulnerabilities in Immigration System.

    • ICE partnered with the Department of Justice and other federal
      agencies in April 2006 to launch ten Document and Benefit Fraud Task
      Forces in major U.S. cities to combat the growing problems of document
      fraud and immigration benefits fraud in a systemic manner.
    • To date, these task forces have launched 235 investigations resulting in 189 arrests and 80 convictions.

    Expanding the National Fugitive Operations Program.

    • ICE nearly tripled the number of fugitive operations teams deployed nationwide from 18 to 50.
    • By the end of FY 2007, ICE intends to have roughly 75 teams deployed nationwide.
    • Through “Operation Return to Sender”, ICE arrested, closed the
      cases of, or otherwise removed 14,356 aliens from the fugitive/illegal
      population between May 26 and September 30, 2006. To date, 4,716 of the
      14,356 aliens have been removed from the United States.

    Expanding Partnerships with State and Local Authorities.

    • Since January, ICE has trained an additional 40 state and county
      law enforcement officers as part of the 287(g) program to provide
      targeted immigration enforcement by state and local authorities. ICE is
      currently negotiating agreements with additional state and local
      governments, and has created a new website to provide additional
      information about the program.

    Using Technology to Enhance Data Entry of Immigration Violators and Fugitives.

    • Since the implementation of new electronic data entry procedures in
      January 2006, the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) has entered
      a total of 64,706 new entries into the National Criminal Information
      Center (NCIC). By comparison, in FY 2005, the LESC entered just 14,004
      entries into NCIC. The LESC completed more than 232,434 NCIC
      validations in FY 2006, compared to just 73,015 NCIC validations the
      prior fiscal year.

    Transforming Detention and Removal

    Ending “Catch-and-Release” Along the Borders.

    • ICE, in partnership with other DHS entities, is now detaining all
      illegal aliens apprehended along the borders for removal, effectively
      signaling the end of “catch-and-release.”
    • As a result of the expanded use of Expedited Removal (ER)
      authority, the average length of stay in ICE custody for aliens placed
      in ER proceedings is roughly 19 days today, down from the average of 90
      days for aliens placed in traditional removal proceedings before the
      Secure Border Initiative was launched.
    • Roughly 186,600 aliens were removed from the United States last
      fiscal year, a record for ICE and a ten percent increase over FY 2005.
      ICE removed 50,222 aliens from the United States via Justice Prisoner
      and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) flights to foreign countries.
    • Through expanded use of video teleconferencing technology at
      foreign consulates, the average length of stay in the United States for
      Honduran nationals is now just 15 days under the SBI, compared to 24
      days in September 2005.
    • In
      May, ICE opened a new 500-bed facility in Williamson County, Texas that
      is specially equipped to meet family needs. In August 2006, only 28
      family units were released, compared with 820 in the month before the
      facility opened, a 97 percent decline in family releases on the
      southern border.

    Maximizing Bed Capacity.

    • In July 2006, ICE established the Detention Operations Coordination
      Center (DOCC), which allows ICE to maximize its detention capacity by
      monitoring detained dockets across the county in order to shift cases
      from field offices with limited detention space to those with available
      detention space.
    • The average daily population of immigrant detainees in ICE custody
      has risen from 19,000 to 26,000 since July, and ICE has increased
      detention capacity in the Southwest border area by deploying 6,300 new
      beds in 2006.

    Transforming the Criminal Alien Program (CAP).

    • In June 2006, ICE launched a central interview and processing site
      for criminal aliens within the federal Bureau of Prisons called the
      Detention Enforcement and Processing Offenders by Remote Technology
      (DEPORT). Since June, DEPORT has processed more than 4,337 inmates in
      federal prisons eligible for removal and who previously may have
      slipped through the immigration process. Through DEPORT, ICE ensures
      that all criminal aliens in federal prison custody are processed for
      removal.

    Enhancing Intelligence Gathering and Analysis

    Expanding Number of Actionable Leads.

    • ICE’s Office of Intelligence, Field Intelligence Units disseminated
      more than 5,044 intelligence leads to field investigators for action.

    Improving Intelligence Lead Tracking.

    • ICEOffice of Intelligence leads, tracked in a new and enhanced
      system, have led to the initiation of 288 formal investigative cases
      from May through September 2006.

    Creating National Security Integration Center.

    • In April 2006, ICE created the National Security Integration Center
      (NSIC), which partners investigators and intelligence analysts to
      “operationalize” intelligence reporting.

    Protecting National Security and Public Safety

    Targeting National Security Threats.

    • ICE is currently the second largest federal contributor of
      personnel to the nation’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF), second
      only to the FBI. ICE personnel are also assigned to Customs and Border
      Protection’s National Targeting Center, a 24/7 operational center that
      brings together personnel from numerous government agencies to detect
      and respond to persons arriving at U.S. ports of entry who are matches
      or potential matches on national terrorist watch lists.

    Increasing Arms and Strategic Technology Investigations (ASTI).

    • ICE commissioned a threat assessment by more than 80 field offices
      to determine the nation’s most critical illegal arms and technology
      export threats and doubled the number of personnel assigned to ASTI
      investigations from approximately 150 to 300. As a result, ICE realized
      significant statistical increases in the number of ASTI arrests,
      indictments, and convictions during FY 2006. Indictments in these cases
      increased by 81 percent over the prior year, while arrests rose 36
      percent and convictions rose 13 percent.

    Detecting, Tracking and Arresting Visa Violators.

    • ICE referred more than 6,000 compliance enforcement investigations
      to ICE field offices, resulting in more than 1,700 arrests, including
      326 that resulted from Operation Summer Break, a specific initiative
      that targeted student visa violators. By the end of the fiscal year,
      ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program included approximately
      10,149 schools and exchange visitor program sponsors, a 28 percent
      increase over FY 2005.

    Targeting Cross-Border Violence.

    • ICE partnered with other law enforcement agencies to implement the
      Border Enforcement Security Task Force Concept (BEST) along the
      Southwest border to share intelligence, develop priority targets and
      execute coordinated law enforcement operations to further enhance
      border security.
    • To date, these task forces have made 79 arrests and seized 25,000
      pounds of marijuana, nearly 400 pounds of cocaine, $6.5 million in U.S.
      currency, 125 weapons, and 10 explosive devices. Additional task forces
      are projected for the future.

    Dismantling International Drug Cartels.

    • As a result of a 15-year ICE led drug smuggling investigation, the
      two founders of Colombia’s infamous Cali drug cartel pleaded guilty to
      a drug trafficking conspiracy charge involving roughly 200,000
      kilograms of cocaine, agreed to plead guilty to a money laundering
      conspiracy charge, and consented to a final forfeiture judgment of $2.1
      billion.
    • The investigation resulted in the indictment, arrest, and/or
      conviction of roughly 141 members of the Cali cartel, as well as the
      seizure of more than $350 million in properties and assets in the
      United States and other nations.

    Targeting Transnational Gangs and Sexual Predators.

    • Operation Community Shield, ICE’s initiative to eliminate the
      public safety threat posed by transnational gang members, resulted in
      the arrest of 2,294 gang members, of whom 1,073 had convictions for
      violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault. Since the
      inception of this initiative, approximately 3,700 gang members have
      been arrested.
    • ICE also continued to target child sex tourists, Internet child
      pornographers, and criminal alien sex predators through its Operation
      Predator initiative, which was launched in 2003. To date, this
      important initiative has resulted in the arrest of more than 9,000
      sexual predators throughout the country.

    Attacking Human Smuggling and Trafficking Groups.

    • ICE initiated 299 human trafficking investigations that resulted in 184 arrests.
    • In June 2006, ICE and DOJ launched the Extraterritorial Criminal
      Travel (ECT) Strike Force designed to attack foreign-based human
      smuggling networks engaged in the movement of special interest aliens.

    Strengthening Financial and Trade Investigations

    Targeting Money Laundering and Other Financial Crimes.

    • ICE initiated more than 3,970 financial investigations that
      resulted in the seizure of roughly $137 million in currency and
      monetary instruments, as well as the arrest of 1,262 individuals, 936
      indictments, and 940 convictions.
    • As part of this effort, ICE created new trade transparency units
      (TTUs) in partnership with Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay to combat
      trade-based money laundering and other financial crimes with these
      nations.

    Implementing New Trade Enforcement Strategy.

    • ICE developed an enhanced trade enforcement strategy in August 2006
      to generate high-value investigative leads and information referrals to
      CBP.
    • ICE initiated numerous Fraud Investigative Strike Teams (FIST) and
      Operation Security Bond operations targeting violations in bonded
      facilities and foreign trade zones, as well as the smuggling of
      commercial merchandise via in-bond diversion and intellectual property
      violations. FIST operations have been deployed in Chicago, Atlanta, San
      Francisco, Houston, and Tucson (Nogales). During these operations, the
      teams visited 62 facilities.

    Targeting Cash Couriers and Bulk Cash Smuggling.

    • Through the State Department, the Terrorist Finance Working Group
      (TFWG) has obtained funding for ICE to conduct this training for 28
      countries in critical need of this capacity building.
    • Since February 2006, ICE has expanded its successful Operation
      Firewall to combat the smuggling of bulk currency derived from illegal
      activity in Mexico to destinations outside the United States. As of
      October 4, 2006, Firewall Operations had resulted in the seizure of
      more than $52 million in cash and negotiable instruments and the arrest
      of more than 130 suspects.

    Protecting Federal Facilities

    Investigating and Responding to Threats.

    • ICE Federal Protective Service (FPS) officers were responsible for
      6,319 arrests and citations and prevented 870,769 prohibited items from
      entering more than 8,800 federal facilities nationwide.
    • ICE FPS also completed 2,480 building security assessments and
      processed 37,218 adjudications associated with security clearances.

    Hurricane Katrina Response.

    • During Hurricane Katrina, ICE FPS officers logged more than 65,000
      patrol hours in New Orleans, 39,000 in Baton Rouge, and 12,000 in
      Lafayette. ICE FPS officers and agents responded to thousands of calls
      for law enforcement service, making more than 120 arrests,
      investigating 165 threats and providing 176 law enforcement escorts to
      FEMA.

    Enhancing Oversight and Integrity

    Strengthening the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

    • In FY 2006, ICE OPR dedicated a surge team to expediting the review
      of existing cases of wrongdoing and corruption. Since July 2006, OPR
      staffing has increased by one-third and ICE has dedicated additional
      financial resources to the program.

    Ensuring Compliance with Detention Standards.

    • To protect the well-being of its detainees at all times, ICE has
      begun supplementing its review of detention facilities by creating a
      new unit to provide oversight of these facilities within OPR. This new
      unit will provide enhanced oversight of DRO facilities to ensure that
      detention standards are met. The unit will also facilitate examinations
      being conducted by members of the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil
      Liberties.
    • In addition, ICE has also developed a mandatory electronic training
      program to ensure all DRO employees understand their obligation under
      the DRO standards.

    Promoting Integrity Awareness.

    • In July 2006, ICE announced the Integrity Awareness Program, a
      mandatory training course developed by OPR to ensure that all ICE
      employees maintain the highest ethical standards.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established
    in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of
    Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of four integrated divisions that
    form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities
    for a number of key homeland security priorities.

    This page was last modified on October 30, 2006