Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
March 20, 2003
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Statement
On Thursday, March 20, teams of agents from the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began seeking out specific Iraqi nationals unlawfully in the United States and apprehending them. The joint initiative, carried out as part of Operation Liberty Shield, is aimed at taking individuals off the street who might pose a threat to the safety and security of the American people. The Iraqis targeted as part of the effort were identified using a range of intelligence criteria and all are in the country illegally. Because the operation is ongoing, we are unable to release further details at this time.
The newly established Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) serves as the primary investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE’s mission includes a vast array of investigative authorities, from terrorist financing, money laundering, and illegal arms dealing to immigration fraud and migrant smuggling. Backed by a workforce of nearly 14,000, ICE’s investigative and intelligence resources, together with the assets of the Federal Protective Service, and robust air and marine interdiction make the agency uniquely equipped to take on the complex criminal enterprises that threaten the security of the United States.