Enforcement and Removal Operations
The ERO directorate upholds U.S. immigration law at, within, and beyond our borders. ERO's work is critical to the enforcement of immigration law against those who present a danger to our national security, are a threat to public safety, or who otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration system.
ERO operations target public safety threats, such as convicted criminal noncitizens and gang members, as well as individuals who have otherwise violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges. ERO deportation officers assigned to INTERPOL also assist in targeting and apprehending foreign fugitives or Fugitive Arrest and Removal (FAR) cases who are wanted for crimes committed abroad and who are now at-large in the U.S.
ERO manages all aspects of the immigration enforcement process, including identification and arrest, domestic transportation, detention, bond management, and supervised release, including alternatives to detention. In addition, ERO removes noncitizens ordered removed from the U.S. to more than 170 countries around the world.
Divisions and Field Offices
To accomplish its mission, ERO is organized into the following divisions:
- Custody Management: Manages ICE detention operations to efficiently and effectively provide for the safety, security, and care of persons in ICE custody (read more)
- Enforcement: Manages enforcement initiatives and components through which ERO identifies and arrests removable noncitizens (read more)
- Field Operations: Oversees, directs, coordinates, and supports ERO’s 24 field offices (read more)
- ICE Health Service Corps: Provides medical, dental and mental health care to persons in ICE custody (read more)
- Operations Support: Provides financial, budgetary, asset management and human resources support to all of ERO (read more)
- Removal: Enforces the removal of all noncitizens, who have a final order of removal, by coordinating with foreign governments worldwide (read more)
Provides policy and oversight for the administrative custody of one of the most highly transient and diverse populations of any or detention system in the world. Custody Management manages ICE detention operations efficiently and effectively to provide for the safety, security, and care of noncitizens in ERO custody.
ERO's Custody Management Division comprises the following:
- Alternatives to Detention Division: Uses technology and other tools to manage noncitizens compliance with release conditions, court hearings, and final orders of removal, while allowing them to remain in the United States as they move through the immigration process.
- Custody Programs Division: Strengthens the integrity of the agency’s immigration activities by developing and promoting best practices in civil detention and enforcement initiatives. Provides policy support, facilitates the implementation of applicable ICE/ERO Directives and expands ERO’s capacity to manage special populations. Responds to internal and external inquiries, complaints and requests for information related to ICE ERO custody management. Operations include the ERO Contact Center of Operations (ECCO) for ERO internal and external communication for detainees, family members, stakeholders and attorneys.
- Detention Management Division: Coordinates with the 24 ERO Field Offices to ensure a safe and secure environment for noncitizens within ERO custody through facility compliance, on-site monitoring, and the acquisition of detention facilities.
Using its broad statutory authorities, ICE identifies and removes dangerous, often recidivist, criminal noncitizens engaged in crimes such as murder, predatory sexual offenses, narcotics smuggling, noncitizen smuggling, and a host of other crimes that have a profoundly negative impact on our society. The Enforcement Division manages the enforcement initiatives and components through which ERO identifies and arrests removable noncitizens.
ERO’s Enforcement comprises four Divisions.
Criminal Apprehension Division
The Criminal Apprehension Division (CAD) performs strategic planning and establishes policies designed to augment ICE’s ability to arrest and remove such noncitizens from the United States. CAD oversees the following:
- Criminal Apprehension Program (CAP): CAP focuses identifying, administratively arresting, and removing priority noncitizens who are incarcerated within federal, state, and local prisons and jails, as well as at-large criminal noncitizens who have circumvented identification.
- 287(g) Program: Named after section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), this program enhances the safety and security of communities by creating partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies to identify and remove noncitizens who are amenable to removal from the United States.
Targeting Operations Division
ERO’s Targeting Operations focus on interior enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. It leverages the integrated lead-generating capabilities of the Law Enforcement Support Center, the Pacific Enforcement Response Center, and the National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center, applying technical capabilities, analytical tools and law enforcement expertise to generate intelligence-driven leads on removable noncitizens.
Fugitive Operations Division
The Fugitive Operations Division facilitates logistical and operational support to 24 ERO field offices and 129 designated Fugitive Operations Teams (FOTs) throughout the nation and is also responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing plans and policies, both budgetary and operational, in furtherance of the overall National Fugitive Operations Program mission. It also partners with U.S. and international law enforcement agencies to combat cross-border threats to public safety and national security.
- National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP): NFOP provides direction and support to ERO’s efforts to locate, arrest and otherwise reduce the population of at-large removable noncitizens from the U.S. through intelligence-driven leads.
ERO Training Division
The ERO Training Division (EROTD) is responsible for meeting the training needs of ERO and our partners. Existing training programs provide basic, advanced and specialized training in an effort to meet the needs of the wide variety of skillsets.
ERO’s enforcement and removal efforts are conducted by its 24 national field offices. At Headquarters, the Field Operations Division provides guidance to and coordination among those offices. This direction is often in reference to the numerous programs and initiatives through which ERO identifies, arrests, pursues for prosecution, and removes priority noncitizens.
HQ Field Operations comprises the following three divisions, all of which provide guidance, implement and inform policy and procedures, and facilitate enhanced coordination between HQ and the field offices:
The Domestic Operations Division oversees, directs, and coordinates all ERO Field Operations activities throughout the nation's field offices and sub-offices in an effort to enhance national security, border security, and public safety through the enforcement of DHS’ Civil Immigration Enforcement Priorities.
This map shows the location and area of responsibility of ERO field offices. For questions regarding the location of who is currently in ICE custody, please use the Online Detainee Locator System. For the location and information about specific detention facilities visit the Detention Facility Locator.
The Special Operations Division oversees and coordinates ERO’s intelligence collection efforts, firearms training and protective equipment procurement, various tactical programs and communications efforts, and oversees ERO operations that support the prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery plans for critical and significant incidents such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, or other national emergencies or incidents.
The Law Enforcement Systems and Analysis (LESA) Division is responsible for helping inform the development of ERO strategies and supporting continuous enhancement of ERO business processes to execute those strategies. Through data collection and analysis and technology and process improvements, LESA delivers tools, studies, and recommendations that assist ICE’s decision-making and planning (strategic, business, and operational). LESA studies ICE’s operations and resources (personnel, processes, technology, and infrastructure) to find areas for continuous improvement.
ICE Health Service Corps
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Health Service Corps (IHSC) is the only entity in ICE responsible for providing direct patient care. IHSC is committed to providing high quality health care services to detained individuals involved in immigration proceedings, supporting ICE apprehension, enforcement and removal operations, and improving national and global public health.
IHSC comprises a workforce of approximately 1,700 employees, including federal civil servants, U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps officers and contract health professionals. IHSC delivers quality health care in accordance with nationally recognized standards and professional peer-reviewed guidelines.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, the ICE Health Service Corps (IHSC) administered and managed a health care system that provided direct care to over 88,000 detainees housed at 21 designated facilities throughout the nation, to include medical, dental, mental health care, and public health services. Oversaw health care for over 169,000 detainees housed in 150 non-IHSC-staffed facilities, totaling over 53,000 beds. In FY 2021, there were a total of 205,242 individuals in ICE custody, with an average length of stay of 37 days. IHSC also directly supports ICE field office directors on medical issues within their area of responsibility. IHSC executed a budget that approached $316M in FY 2021
Operations Support (OS) coordinates ERO requirements to provide the resources and support infrastructure necessary to ensure the efficient execution of ERO’s mission. OS responsibilities include budget formulation and execution management, financial management, purchase card support, facilities construction and leasing management, fleet and personal property management, training management, human capital management, and compliance and oversight support.
The Assistant Director (AD) for OS is responsible for a dynamic human capital program that includes aggressive recruitment, hiring, and retention of a diverse professional, managerial and officer workforce and provides sound and cost-effective budget and financial management policies, procedures and guidance. The AD for OS also provides a safe and effective fleet, and provides planning and oversight of ERO facilities and construction. The AD for OS ensures collaboration with internal stakeholders to define requirements and guarantee timely responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases, and institutes a partnership throughout the agency to develop an overarching ERO training strategy that includes mission-specific training needs.
For more information about employment opportunities please visit the ICE career page.
ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removes noncitizens from the U.S. who are subject to a final order of removal or have been granted voluntary departure. ERO’s Removal Division coordinates, manages, and facilitates efforts to successfully remove noncitizens from the United States. In collaboration with other ICE offices and the Department of State, ERO also works with international partners to successfully execute removal operations.
ERO's Removal Division comprises the following:
- ICE Air Operations Division: Provides commercial and chartered aviation support, both domestically and internationally, to all 24 ERO Field Offices strategically located throughout the United States, providing air transportation to transfer noncitizens to designated detention locations and/or to staging sites in order to accomplish removal flights to noncitizens’ countries of origin.
- Removal Management Divisions East and West: Supports the 24 ERO Field Offices nationwide in the coordination of removals, and develops and implements strategies to support ERO's mission to remove priority noncitizens from the United States through collaboration within the agency as well as interagency stakeholders, foreign embassies and consulates, and international networks.
- International Operations Division: Comprising ERO’s overseas-based personnel and supports the 24 ERO Field Offices nationwide through regular and ongoing liaison with host-nation government officials in the coordination of removal operations.