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Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

May 16, 2003

-Interim Headquarters and Field Structure Detailed-

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement today announced a reorganization plan that creates a headquarters structure for the agency’s operational components and a field structure that provides an integrated chain of command and more streamlined operations at minimal cost. The plan will be effective on June 9.

Backed by a workforce of nearly 14,000, ICE is the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The agency is comprised of several components from the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the U.S. Customs Service, and the Federal Protective Service (FPS). The agency combines the investigative, detention & removal, and intelligence functions of the former INS with the investigative, intelligence, and air & marine functions of the former Customs Service. All the functions of the former FPS are also part of ICE.

"Through this reorganization, ICE is building a foundation to become one of the world’s preeminent law enforcement agencies - one that provides unparalleled investigation, interdiction, and security services to the public and to our partners at DHS," said Michael J. Garcia, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

At the headquarters level, the reorganization plan establishes a structure that supports five distinct operational divisions of ICE. These operational divisions are: Investigations, Detention & Removal, Intelligence, Air & Marine Interdiction, and Federal Protective Service. All these components will report directly to the Assistant Secretary of ICE.

The benefits of this headquarters structure are many. The structure eliminates redundancies and management layers by integrating the Customs and INS investigative functions into a single Investigations division. The plan also integrates the Customs and INS intelligence divisions into a single Intelligence division. This streamlined structure will enhance operations, promote strategic agility, and have minimal budget impact in the short term.

At the field level, the plan creates a Special Agent in Charge structure for ICE Investigations, following the model of other preeminent law enforcement agencies. Under the plan, 25 veteran law enforcement officers will be designated as ICE Interim Special Agents in Charge. Each will be responsible for directing ICE investigative operations and resources in a specific geographic area of the United States. The Interim Headquarters managers and the Special Agents in Charge will be named next week.

The field reorganization plan also aligns the reporting structures of Detention and Removal field units with the interim ICE Special Agent in Charge offices. In addition, the plan aligns ICE field Intelligence Units with the Interim Special Agent in Charge offices. The field regions and offices of the FPS and Air & Marine Interdiction divisions will remain essentially intact under the plan.

These changes in the field will foster greater accountability through the creation of clear chains of command. The field structure will also balance staffing and workload, ensure manageable spans of control, and respect Federal judicial lines.


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