Tag Archive for Immigration and Customs Enforcement

ICE Directive Describes Policies Governing Homeland Security’s “Special Response Teams”

A recently discovered directive from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) details the policies behind Special Response Teams (SRT) which have been drawing attention in recent years for their large, militaristic armored vehicles and increasing involvement in law enforcement actions around the country. The directive was posted online in 2009 by a local chapter of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), one of the the largest labor unions for federal employees.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tactical Teams (Special Response Teams) Directive

When an ICE enforcement activity is determined to be of high risk or sensitive in nature. It may require the use of tactical capabilities beyond those of the typical ICE enforcement officer in order to ensure the safe and successful resolution of the action. Under these circumstances, Tactical Teams possessing specialized skills, specialized equipment and specialized training to meet these particular challenges may be required. The deployment of these teams can be viewed as the use of an elevated level of force. For these reasons, it is important for ICE to have processes and procedures for the establishment and operation of these teams, appropriate training and qualification standards for team members, and very specific reporting requirements through defined reporting channels, for team activities.

GAO Report: DHS Data Mining Systems Do Not Ensure Protection of Privacy

As part of a systematic evaluation framework, agency policies should ensure organizational competence, evaluations of a system’s effectiveness and privacy protections, executive review, and appropriate transparency throughout the system’s life cycle. While DHS and three of its component agencies—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services—have established policies that address most of these key policy elements, the policies are not comprehensive. For example, DHS policies do not fully ensure executive review and transparency, and the component agencies’ policies do not sufficiently require evaluating system effectiveness. DHS’s Chief Information Officer reported that the agency is planning to improve its executive review process by conducting more intensive reviews of IT investments, including the data-mining systems reviewed in this report. Until such reforms are in place, DHS and its component agencies may not be able to ensure that critical data mining systems used in support of counterterrorism are both effective and that they protect personal privacy.

ICE Facilities Standard CCTV Camera Information and Locations

The SM-CCTV System is a computer network consisting of closed-circuit video cameras, digital video recorders (DVRs), and monitoring capabilities that capture video-only feeds in and around ICE facilities. The purpose of the SM-CCTV System is to help ICE secure and regulate physical access to ICE facilities. The system also serves to enhance officer safety, prevent crimes, and assist in the investigation of criminal acts committed inside and on the perimeter of protected ICE facilities. Video surveillance also supports terrorism prevention and facility protection with its visible presence, and detects and deters unauthorized intrusion at ICE facilities. The SM-CCTV System is planned to be deployed in numerous ICE facilities nationwide.

ICE List of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that Promote or Protect Terrorism

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General issued a report in May 2011 titled “Supervision of Aliens Commensurate with Risk” that details Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) detention and supervision of aliens. The report includes a list of Specially Designated Countries (SDCs) that are said to “promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members”. The report states that ICE uses a Third Agency Check (TAC) to screen aliens from specially designated countries (SDCs) that have shown a tendency to promote, produce, or protect terrorist organizations or their members and that the purpose of the additional screening is to determine whether other agencies have an interest in the alien. ICE’s policy requires officers to conduct TAC screenings only for aliens from SDCs if the aliens are in ICE custody.

ICE Pattern Analysis and Information Collection (ICEPIC) System

The ICE Pattern Analysis and Information Collection (ICEPIC) system was established in 2008 to enable ICE law enforcement agents and analysts to look for non-obvious relationship patterns among individuals and organizations that are indicative of violations of the customs and immigration laws that are enforced by DHS agencies, as well as possible terrorist threats and plots. From these relationships, ICE agents develop specific leads and intelligence for active and new investigations. Identified relationships are also recorded for reuse in subsequent investigative analyses. The information processed by ICEPIC comes from existing ICE investigative and apprehension records systems, as well as immigration and alien admission records systems. ICEPIC includes capabilities that assist investigators in recording results of analyses performed in support of investigations and in capturing additional relevant information obtained from outside sources. The information collected by, on behalf of, in support of, or in cooperation with DHS and its components may contain personally identifiable information collected by other Federal, State, local, tribal, foreign government agencies, or international organizations.

Endgame

Endgame is the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) multi-year strategic enforcement plan. It stresses the effective and efficient execution of the critical service DRO provides its partners and stakeholders to enforce the nation’s immigration and naturalization laws. The DRO strategic plan sets in motion a cohesive enforcement program with a ten-year time horizon that will build the capacity to “remove all removable aliens,” eliminate the backlog of unexecuted final order removal cases, and realize its vision.