(US GOVERNMENT) Agency created in 2003 by merging the enforcement arm of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with that of the US Customs Service (see Customs and Border Protection {CPB}). It is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The ICE employs 19,000 people worldwide and has a budget of about $5.7 billion (comparable to the military budget of Algeria or Norway). It is responsible for Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) of removable aliens.

The ICE also violates international laws on human rights by deporting immigrants (legal or not) accused of a crime (this is known as exile and violates international norms of criminal justice). This program is called "Secure Communities" and of course only makes communities a lot LESS secure; it has exiled over 14,000 immigrants for petty offices such as traffic violations.

The dog-and-pony show of the ICE is its Office of Investigations (OI). This "investigates, deters and interdicts ...arms and strategic technology exports, ...money laundering, ...media piracy, smuggling (contraband, narcotics and aliens), immigration fraud, transnational gangs, ...child exploitation and pornography..." The OI basically issues press releases for publication as "news" by lazy newsmedia. The fact remains that human trafficking is a tiny affair with few reliably documented cases, and the US is not dependent on imported porn.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a surplus agency of the US government that mostly duplicates the efforts of Customs and Border Protection and Citizenship and Immigration Services. It operates a gigantic, corporate-run incarceration system that surpasses anything Kafka, Orwell, or Solzhenitsyn ever wrote about.
by Primus Intra Pares June 17, 2010