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2017 Year in Review

 

Protecting National Security and Upholding Public Safety

Throughout the year, the deportation officers, special agents, attorneys, and support staff comprising U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) workforce protect America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten homeland security and public safety.

Our mission is accomplished by the people of ICE working together and by adhering to our core values of integrity, courage and excellence. The following Year in Review is a snapshot of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), and Management and Administration’s (M&A) daily work. As we reflect on 2017 and prepare for the challenges of 2018, ICE will continue to strive for excellence in all its efforts.

What follows is a look at some of the top ERO, HSI, OPLA and M&A stories from the last 12 months. With a renewed focus and energy toward enforcing the law as it is written, ICE offices throughout the country accomplished a great deal this year and are well-positioned to carry that success forward as the agency prepares to mark its 15th anniversary in March 2018.

Highlights of the Year
ICE Impact in FY 2017

Working with its partners throughout the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as among the private sector and with law enforcement agencies across the country and around the world, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2017 continued a record of success that has positioned the agency as a public safety leader.

 

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Narcotics

As the sole investigative agency with unique customs and immigration authorities, in addition to standard criminal and civil law enforcement authorities, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigates the widest range of criminal activity across the crime continuum. HSI’s strategy also extends well beyond U.S. borders in an effort to prevent dangerous drugs and those engaged in the smuggling and distribution of contraband from reaching our shores. HSI special agents have extensive knowledge of the border environment and techniques employed by narcotics smuggling organizations to transport contraband into the United States. That knowledge led to 11,691 narcotics enforcement arrests in fiscal year 2017.

 

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High-profile removals

High-profile removals are not only a danger to communities, but they also pose a threat to the officers who apprehend them and ICE ERO officers who escort them back to their home countries, which may be as close as Mexico or as far as Yemen, Iraq, Rwanda and the Czech Republic. In 2017, ICE removed more than 20 foreign fugitives.

 

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Transnational Gangs

ICE continues to fight the public threat of transnational criminal street gangs. In 2017, HSI continued its fight to combat transnational gangs, making 4,818 criminal arrests in the fiscal year. Of that number, there were 796 MS-13 arrests, 555 of which were criminal and 241 admin.

 

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Human Smuggling

ICE HSI special agents fight the exploitation and loss of human lives by doing what they can to prevent human smuggling on the southwest border of the U.S.

 

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Most Wanted Captures

ICE keeps its ‘ICE 10 Most Wanted List’ current and, with the help of public tips, captures and arrests criminals. In 2017, ICE captured or arrested four of its Most Wanted fugitives.

 

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Acting Director Named

In January, the president appointed Thomas Homan acting director of ICE. The former NYPD officer and career law enforcement professional currently acts as deputy director and senior official performing the duties of the director.

 

Hurricane Response

Hurricanes Maria, Harvey and Irma wreaked havoc on large parts of Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and other areas in 2017. ICE deployed Special Response Teams and Rapid Response Teams, law enforcement and mission support personnel to assist with rescue and support.

 

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Police Week

ICE honored its own during 2017 National Police Week by remembering the lives of HSI Special Agent J. Scott McGuire and ERO Deportation Officer Brian P. Beliso.

 

Feature: Police Week →

Preventing FGM/C

ICE HSI National Security Investigations Division Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit, the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor, and agency partners have focused their attention on identifying girls and women at risk for, and investigating those who perpetrate, FGM/C.

 

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Recruitment

In 2017, ICE geared up to increase recruiting and hiring. To assist with the recruiting effort, ICE has upgraded its website with a new careers section that includes comprehensive information about career tracks, application processes, policies and procedures, and other useful tips.

 

ICE.gov/careers

Spanish Outreach

ICE expanded its digital presence in 2017. This included launching ICE.gov/es, a translated site that offers information about ICE and the agency’s mission, as well as press releases and special features. Coinciding with the expansion of ICE’s website, ICE also launched @ICEespanol.

 

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Top Images of 2017

These photographs are images that best represent the mission of ICE and the hard work of ICE employees throughout 2017.

Since ICE was established in March 2003, the agency has removed hundreds of thousands of aliens, some of whom fall under the category of high-profile removals.

WASHINGTON, DECEMBER 7

Since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003, the agency has removed hundreds of thousands of aliens, some of whom fall under the category of high-profile removals. Learn more


An HSI special agent partners with members of the Houston Police Department to investigate suspected human trafficking during an operation in Houston, Texas.

HOUSTON, JANUARY 28

An HSI special agent partners with members of the Houston Police Department to investigate suspected human trafficking during an operation in Houston, Texas. Learn more about ICE’s efforts to combat human trafficking, and also care for victims.


An ERO deportation officer checks fingerprints using a mobile biometric software application in Long Island, N.Y., during Operation Raging Bull, a federal law enforcement operation targeting MS-13.

LONG ISLAND, NOVEMBER 16

An ERO deportation officer checks fingerprints using a mobile biometric software application in Long Island, N.Y., during Operation Raging Bull, a federal law enforcement operation targeting MS-13. Learn more about ICE’s efforts to dismantle transnational gangs.


HSI SRT sharp shooters keep a keen eye out to assist federal, state and local law enforcement officials in maintaining public safety during Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Texas.

HOUSTON, JANUARY 30

HSI Special Readiness Team sharp shooters keep a keen eye out to assist federal, state and local law enforcement officials in maintaining public safety during Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Texas. Learn more about ICE’s role as the lead federal law enforcement coordinating agency during the Super Bowl each year.


SDDO Kelei Walker receives instructions on the range from Firearms Instructor Gerald Hutt in Dallas, Texas.

DALLAS, APRIL 21

Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer Kelei Walker receives instructions on the range from Firearms Instructor Gerald Hutt in Dallas, Texas.


Ingmar Guandique, the man previously convicted of killing D.C. intern Chandra Levy, is removed to his native El Salvador by ICE ERO.

WASHINGTON, MAY 5

Ingmar Guandique, a known MS-13 gang member, is removed to his native El Salvador by ERO deportation officers. Learn more


 A member of the ICE Honor Guard places a rose above the name of a fallen ICE officer. The members of the Honor Guard walk around the entire National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., and lay roses at every fallen ICE officers name.

WASHINGTON, MAY 15

A member of the ICE Honor Guard places a rose above the name of a fallen ICE officer. The members of the Honor Guard walk around the entire National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., and lay roses at every fallen ICE officer's name. Learn more about ICE’s participation in National Police Week.


ICE’s three operational components – HSI, ERO, and the legal division Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) – pose for promotional photo for use in recruitment materials, highlighting ICE’s broad responsibilities and strength through diversity to potential recruits.

WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 25

In 2017, ICE geared up to recruit top talent to its ranks among candidates throughout America. Here, ICE’s three operational components – HSI, ERO, and the legal division Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) – pose for a promotional photo for use in recruitment materials, highlighting ICE’s broad responsibilities and strength through diversity to potential recruits. Learn more


ICE’s M&A employees join DHS recruitment officials Aug. 22-23 for an event aimed at hiring veterans of the Armed Services. DHS as a whole currently employs more than 50,000 veterans.

WASHINGTON, AUGUST 22

ICE’s Management and Administration (M&A) employees join Department of Homeland Security recruitment officials Aug. 22-23 for an event aimed at hiring veterans of the Armed Services. DHS as a whole currently employs more than 50,000 veterans.


Special Agent Megan Shields of the HSI New York City Rapid Response Team delivers water in Barrio Campanella, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.

TOA BAJA, OCTOBER 19

Special Agent Alexandra DeArmas of the HSI Newark Rapid Response Team delivers water in Barrio Campanella, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Learn more about ICE’s hurricane response efforts.


 

Top Stories of 2017

A look at the top ERO, HSI and M&A stories, as determined by overall views by visitors to ICE.gov during the year

INTERPOL, ICE seek public’s help to identify unknown female suspect in child sex abuse and exploitation case

INTERPOL, ICE seek public’s help to identify unknown female suspect in child sex abuse and exploitation case

In August, ICE HSI, in partnership with INTERPOL Washington and the U.S. National Central Bureau, urged the public to help identify an unknown suspect wanted for questioning in an unsolved case of child abuse and exploitation. When the article was posted investigators had been unable to identify the suspect using traditional means and requested the public’s assistance. The suspect was added to ICE's Operation Predator online application, which allows users to receive alerts about wanted predators, to share the information with friends via email and social media tools, and to provide information to ICE by calling or submitting an online tip.

ICE ERO immigration arrests climb nearly 40%

ICE ERO immigration arrests climb nearly 40%

During a 100 day period in 2017, ICE arrested more than 41,000 individuals known or suspected of being in the country illegally. This reflected an increase of 37.6 percent over the same period in 2016.

Between Jan. 22 and April 29, 2017, ICE ERO deportation officers administratively arrested 41,318 individuals on civil immigration charges. Between Jan. 24 and April 30, 2016, ERO arrested 30,028.


ICE 'most wanted fugitive' captured in New Jersey

ICE 'most wanted fugitive' captured in New Jersey

ICE ERO Newark Fugitive Operations team arrested an individual on its most wanted list after he was identified leaving his residence. Javier Atlixqueno-Vaquero, 37, is a convicted felon for the crimes of sexual assault with a minor, felony sale of hallucinogen/narcotic controlled substance and felony failure to appear.

ICE arrests over 450 on federal immigration charges during Operation ‘Safe City’

ICE arrests over 450 on federal immigration charges during Operation ‘Safe City’

ICE ERO Fugitive Operations teams arrested 498 individuals from 42 countries across the U.S. during Operation ‘Safe City.’ The operation targeted individuals who have violated U.S. immigration laws, prioritizing aliens with criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, known gang members and affiliates, immigration fugitives, and those who re-entered the U.S. after deportation. Individuals with active DACA were not targeted for arrest.


ICE arrests MS-13 gang member released from local custody on an active detainer

ICE arrests MS-13 gang member released from local custody on an active detainer

Officers with ICE ERO arrested Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez, a self-admitted MS-13 gang member, after he was released from New York City custody with an active ICE detainer in place. "This man is, by his own admission, a member of a violent street gang and was released back into the community. Honoring a detainer request is not about politics, it is about keeping the citizens of New York safe,” said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York.

ICE removes Dominican national wanted for murder

ICE removes Dominican national wanted for murder

A Dominican national, Martires Molvan-Figeureo, 54, wanted for murder charges, was removed by ICE ERO officers via an ICE Air Operations charter flight.

Between Jan. 22 and April 29, 2017, ICE ERO deportation officers administratively arrested 41,318 individuals on civil immigration charges. Between Jan. 24 and April 30, 2016, ERO arrested 30,028.


ICE-led gang surge nets 1,378 arrests nationwide

ICE-led gang surge nets 1,378 arrests nationwide

A six-week nationwide anti-gang operation led by ICE HSI concluded in May with 1,378 arrests across the United States. At the time of the operation, it was the largest anti-gang surge ever conducted by ICE HSI. Of the 1,378 total arrested, 1,098 were arrested on federal and/or state criminal charges, including 21 individuals arrested on murder related charges and seven for rape and sexual assault charges. The remaining 280 were arrested on administrative immigration violations. “Gang-related violence and criminal activity present an ongoing challenge for law enforcement everywhere, said ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Thomas Homan. “Our efforts to dismantle gangs are much more effective in areas where partnership with local law enforcement is strongest.”

ICE’s ‘Operation Raging Bull’ nets 267 MS-13 arrests

ICE’s ‘Operation Raging Bull’ nets 267 MS-13 arrests

ICE’s ‘Operation Raging Bull’ nets 267 MS-13 arrests DHS and the U.S. Department of Justice announced in November the results of Operation Raging Bull, an ICE-led effort to target and dismantle MS-13. With the support of federal, state, local and international law enforcement partners, Operation Raging Bull culminated in the arrest of 267 in the U.S. and overseas. MS-13 has long been a priority for ICE. The agency is combating the gang with renewed focus and an unprecedented level of cooperation among DHS’s components and domestic and international partners.


 ICE OTTP instructor helps save life

ICE OTTP instructor helps save life

Jason Gueringer, a firearms programs specialist and tactical instructor with ICE Office of Training and Tactical Programs (OTTP), leapt into action when a man in his class dropped to the ground. He later learned the man suffered a widow-maker heart attack; the survival rate is less than one percent.

OPLA Week 2017

OPLA Week 2017

In partnership with the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) created “OPLA Week,” a comprehensive media campaign that produced content for publication across all ICE digital platforms during the final week of October. The goal of OPLA Week was to promote OPLA, its mission and its people, as well as educate the public about OPLA and create interest among potential hires. OPLA Week included an interview with Principal Legal Advisor Tracy Short, a feature story on Executive Deputy Principal Legal Advisor Michael P. Davis, 10 facts about OPLA and various posts on ICE’s social media platforms.


 

Top Videos of 2017

Here’s a look at the videos from ICE that got the most attention in 2017

Operation Raging Bull

Operation Raging Bull, nationwide enforcement operation designed to disrupt MS-13 gangs nets 267 arrests

Pistol Invitational

2017 San Diego Women in Law Enforcement Pistol Invitational

High Profile Removal

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the high profile removal process through a case involving Martires Molvan-Figeureo, a former member of the Dominican National Police wanted for murder charges

Dangers of Fentanyl

Derek Benner, Acting Executive Associate Director of HSI discusses the dangers of Fentanyl.

Women’s History Month

ICE’s Women’s History Month panel discussion series, the group discusses the challenges of being a woman in law enforcement -- Balancing Work and Life

Police Week

Director Homan and families of fallen officers laying roses at the NLEOM wall for Police Week

ICE Air Operations

ICE Air Operations Division, the air transportation arm of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, provides air transportation support

ICE at Super Bowl 51: IPR

ICE holds joint press conference with DHS, the NFL, Houston Police Department and other state and local law enforcement partners to discuss public safety efforts

ICE's IMAGE program

ICE’s IMAGE program assists employers in targeted sectors develop a more secure and stable workforce. It also enhances fraudulent document awareness through education and training.

ICE at Super Bowl 51: Security

ICE and CBP protects the homeland by air

Human Trafficking #InHerOwnWords

Dealing with the physical toll the trafficking took on her body was “easy.” It turned out that the hardest part to deal with was the psychological effects. In part two of #InHerOwnWords, Tonya discusses the emotional toll of being a victim of human trafficking.

 
Top Tweets of 2017

 

Top Tweets of 2017






Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/08/2018
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