EAH Immigration Blog

Morale at ICE Reaches New Low

As criticism of the agency increases, dissent is forming with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In a letter addressed to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) proposed a deconstruction of ICE into its two main but independent components, HSI and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). The latter is managed by a union and focuses on civil immigration violations, removal efficiencies, and developed detention. HSI, on the other hand, is a non-bargaining-unit workforce that counters the exploitation of international trade, travel, and finance by terrorists and international criminals.

In light of these divergent roles, HSI is advocating for separating the two into their own independent agencies, noting that ICE is the only federal law enforcement agency that has two completely different missions. Separation would improve focus and efficiency, and could also improve morale for both institutions as the ICE brand has consistently deteriorated. Competition for funding would be reduced, and efficiency may increase. This request by HSI is not surprising given the increasingly negative portrayal and public dissatisfaction with ICE.

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