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July 13, 2020Chicago, IL, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE offers first Citizens Academy for public to learn more about agency’s mission in Chicago

CHICAGO — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) is offering to the community Chicago’s first ERO Citizens Academy, scheduled to begin Sept. 15.

The goal of the program is for participants to become familiar with how and why ICE carries out its mission. Modeled after other law enforcement academies, including ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and local police departments, ERO plans to directly engage and educate the public through the academy.

“The academy is a natural progression from the outreach work we have already been doing with our community,” said ERO Chicago Field Office Director Robert Guadian “This is an opportunity for the community to get to know our officers, understand our mission, and see firsthand how the agency enforces the federal immigration laws enacted by Congress.”

During the interactive six-day program, occurring weekly for six weeks, participants will hear directly from ERO officers and learn about ICE policies and procedures. The Citizens Academy also affords ICE the opportunity to hear from participants, understand their perspectives and debunk myths.

The curriculum will include, but is not limited to, classroom instruction, visiting an immigration detention center, learning more about the health care ICE provides to those in its custody, and examining ICE’s role in ensuring dignity, respect and due process of an immigration case from start to finish.

ICE is inviting interested participants from a variety of stakeholder backgrounds such as community groups, state and local elected leaders, Congressional staff, consular officials, and business and religious leaders.

Space is limited. Participants must commit to complete the entire course and pass a background check. Interested applicants should email to receive an application. Applications must be received by Thursday, July 30.

ERO Chicago is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other federal, state and local agencies to ensure personal health and safety during the academy. Participants will be issued personal protective equipment and will be expected to adhere to social distancing guidelines.