U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal law enforcement agency created in 2003 under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the mission of enforcing U.S. immigration law and preventing terrorism.
Detention of Certain Foreign Nationals
ICE may detain an alien because they believe either that the person is a “flight risk” and may move to another location within the US or that the person poses a public safety threat. Detention allows the government to ensure an immigrant's appearance before an immigration court. There are many reasons why someone may be detained by ICE under the direction of DHS. These may include:
- Having committed a crime, or multiple crimes
- The alien arrived or crossed the border without a visa without applying for asylum or a refugee status
- The alien has a deportation order
- The alien has missed prior immigration court hearing dates
Further, a number of police departments cooperate with ICE. An individual picked up on a minor charge may have their immigration status checked and the individual may be released direction into ICE custody.