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.
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.