How Do You Become an Immigration Enforcement Agent?

Immigration and customs enforcementThere is a well-defined path to become an immigration enforcement agent. Below introduces four integral steps to become a full-time ICE employee, according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Get the Right Education

ICE agents generally have a bachelor’s degree related to criminal justice or law enforcement. These programs include general classes related to psychology, communication and criminology. They also have classes regarding law enforcement ethics, policies, processes and tactics. Students will learn about the American legal system, which includes classes about corrections, court procedures and the juvenile justice system. Students will study crisis intervention and how to conduct effective mediation and negotiation scenarios. They will learn crime scene strategies, data collection methods and progressive crime analysis techniques.

Follow an Official Pathway

ICE offers multiple formal career paths for students. First, the internship program provides high school and college students with opportunities to work for ICE while still attending school. Students are paid for their work and become eligible for full-time employment by the federal government after successful program completion. There are also unpaid volunteer opportunities for current and former college students through the Student Volunteer Program. These professional jobs provide very valuable work experience, but do not transfer to future vacancies. Still, this program is an excellent way for students to explore careers, network with potential employers and possibly obtain academic credit for work performed. Finally, the ICE’ Recent Graduates Program is exclusively for college graduates who intend to work in the civil service. Only certain academic programs and institutions qualify for this program, which lasts up to one year.

Directly Apply

After candidates complete the initial application and meet the minimum qualifications, they take a qualifying exam that tests things like reading comprehension and writing and judgment skills. Next, the top candidates are subjected to comprehensive background checks that verify their personal, educational and criminal histories. Those who pass the background checks taker oral exams, rigorous interviews and additional law enforcement tests that assess attention to detail, communication skills and legal knowledge. Afterwards, there are physical tests, which assess fitness and stamina, and medical tests, which assess sight and hearing. Successful graduates join ICE’s training academy for two to six months where they learn immigration processes and law enforcement skills, such as using firearms and conducting searches.

Complete Advanced Training

Depending on their position and specialization, immigration enforcement agents complete advanced training. Agents who enter hostile environments to engage potentially dangerous criminals will complete a variety of weapons training. This includes classes related to combat shooting, pistol handling and armed defense around vehicles. These students will also study close quarter fighting and defense tactics. Students who will become leaders will learn about incident and threat response management. These students will most likely take advanced management classes from the federal government’s one and only emergency training center called the Emergency Management Institute (EMI). Here, they will learn about Hazmat, terrorism prevention and weapons of mass destruction.

Related Resource: Become a Federal Air Marshal

In order to become an immigration enforcement agent, candidates must have the right education, qualifications and training.