What is ICE?

Immigration and customs enforcement, or ICE for short, is an important extension of the US federal government and its efforts to maintain sovereignty and safety for the greater country. So, what exactly is ICE, and what does it do exactly? Here’s the basic rundown on immigration and customs enforcement today.


ICE is an agency designed to maintain US sovereignty and the safety of the entirety of the nation. More specifically, ICE is a law enforcement agency, run by the federal government, and designed to perform these above-mentioned duties by managing the country’s borders. To see the agency from another angle, it is like the gatekeeper to the country’s doorways in and out; much like if your own home had no physical doors, a gatekeeper or some other form of security might then be very much in order. ICE executes its mission through the enforcement of more than 400 federal statutes, and focuses on smart immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism and combating the illegal movement of people and trade, according to ICE.


The methods by which ICE conducts its primary mission are diverse and advanced. At the borders, the agency monitors and records international traffic in both directions. When suspicion arises of something amiss with a crossing party, some of the most advanced scientific equipment and law enforcement tactics are then applied to the situation in order to safely mitigate it.

In places along the border where there are no such official travel-ways or checkpoints, ICE uses advanced surveillance and intervention techniques to prevent and stop current or future illegal endeavors. At mail checkpoints, airports, and ports, the agency can also be found at work upholding the law of the sovereign borders of the US. In addition, some agents working for the agency even work in other countries handling the affairs of investigations, intercepts, prisoner custody and movements, and more.

Jobs Within

Another great way to understand such an agency is by taking a look at some of the types of jobs and workers employed by that organization. While this agency is quite expansive and employs a very diverse pool of workers and specialties, nearly all of its occupational positions can be categorized into three distinct areas. Per the agency, these categories are Enforcement and Removal Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, and Management and Administration.


ICE is actually a relatively new law enforcement agency. In years past, such work was delegated to a number of other law enforcement offices at the state, local, and federal levels. This all changed, however, when ICE was rolled out in 2003, driven by the signing into law of the Homeland Security Act. Its birth was also much influenced by the prior national tragedy of 9/11. Today, the agency has evolved to an advanced and tenured organization and boasts over 20,000 employees in total.

Related Resource: 5 Important Things To Know About Cyber Security Jobs

Every sovereign country needs certain protections along its borders. ICE is the United States’mechanism for handling just that area of concern. These are the basics of ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement today.