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February 4, 2020Seattle, WAUnited StatesEnforcement and Removal

Misinformation concerning ICE operations generates unnecessary fear in local community

SEATTLE, Wash. - Misinformation and rumors concerning U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) presence on local public transit continues to be promoted without merit by those with political agendas. Allegations that ICE is boarding commuter trains, buses, or any other public transit for the purpose of checking riders’ immigration status is completely false.

“Local officials know we aren’t out there doing indiscriminate sweeps, but because of political motives, do nothing to set the record straight or provide the public with accurate information,” said Nathalie Asher, field office director, ICE ERO-Seattle. “Let me be very clear, ICE does not conduct patrols, raids, or sweeps looking for illegal aliens. Individuals and groups making such accusations are doing nothing but fearmongering and in turn, putting the public and officers at great risk. ICE strictly conducts targeted enforcement actions and continues to focus its limited resources first and foremost on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety.”

There are agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response team, who board public transit in order to prevent and deter criminal and terroristic acts against the U.S. transportation system. These uniformed VIPR teams are part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and have been mistaken for ICE officers in the past.

ICE encourages public leaders, advocacy groups and the community to share this accurate information to ensure the safety of both those utilizing public transportation and those charged with ensuring their safety while aboard.

For more information on ICE’s mission, visit

For information concerning TSA’s mission, visit

Updated: 10/08/2020