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Who We Are Overview
Who We Are Overview
Who We Are Overview

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety. 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 46 foreign countries. The agency has an annual budget of approximately $6 billion, primarily devoted to three operational directorates – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA). A fourth directorate – Management and Administration – supports the three operational branches 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. 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 directorate includes professional managers and mission support staff who make the ICE mission possible. Learn more about M&A.

Office of the Principal Legal Advisor

OPLA is the exclusive legal representative in exclusion, deportation and removal proceedings against criminal aliens, terrorists and human rights abusers in immigration courts around the country. In addition, OPLA provides critical legal support to ICE components focusing on customs, cybersecurity, worksite enforcement, ethics, employment law, tort claims and administrative law issues. Learn more about OPLA.

Office of Professional Responsibility

ICE’s OPR promotes public trust and confidence in ICE by ensuring organizational integrity is maintained through a multi-layered approach utilizing security, inspections and investigations. Learn more about OPR.

ICE Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2016-2020

In January 2016, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued its strategic plan for fiscal years 2016-2020. This comprehensive plan laid out how ICE would most effectively meet its responsibilities for criminal investigation and civil immigration enforcement over the next five years. Moreover, ICE is taking steps to streamline and improve its management structure to give the agency a clearer sense of identity and focus.

The plan details three key goals for the agency's future:

  • Counter terrorism and protect the borders
  • Protect the borders through efficient immigration enforcement
  • Operate an efficient, effective agency

For more information, the full strategic plan is available for download.


Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/26/2017