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Fugitive Operations Support Units
Two support units, the Fugitive Case Management Unit in Laguna Niguel, California, and the Fugitive Operations Support Center in Burlington, Vermont, assist United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Fugitive Operations Teams.
Fugitive Case Management Unit
In March 2004, ICE’s Office of Detention and Removal Operations established the Fugitive Case Management Unit to coordinate all fugitive case leads for the National Fugitive Operations Program. The unit receives information from various sources, primarily from the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services, other agencies such as the Departments of State and Labor, and the Department of Homeland Security’s
Transportation Security Administration. The Fugitive Case Management Unit also receives leads generated by the Office of Detention and Removal Operations’ headquarters.
The unit’s staff consolidates the information and each week provides a list of fugitive alien leads to appropriate field offices. Also, the Fugitive Case Management Unit might send “hot leads” on fugitive aliens to field offices. Either the Office of Detention and Removal Operations’ headquarters or the Transportation Security Administration makes the determination as to what constitutes “hot leads,” which appear to be credible information that would lead to immediate apprehensions and require the Fugitive Operations Team’s immediate attention. A response must be received within seven days by the unit on the action taken to pursue these type leads. Data in the Fugitive Case Management Unit system are regularly compared to Deportable Alien Control System data to determine if fugitives have criminal convictions. Leads on fugitive aliens with criminal convictions require the Fugitive Operations Team to respond to the Fugitive Case Management Unit with the results of the inquiry within 30 days, and non-criminal leads require a response in 180 days.
Fugitive Operations Support Center
In October 2005, the Office of Detention and Removal Operations established the Fugitive Operations Support Center to support the teams’ efforts and “enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the [National Fugitive Operations Program].”30 The center’s operational plan, which was approved in June
2006, proposes three goals for the center: (1) improving the integrity of data in the Deportable Alien Control System; (2) developing leads on fugitives for the field; and (3) supporting national ICE and the Office of Detention and Removal Operations’ initiatives, including Operation Community Shield and Operation Predator. Community Shield is designed to disrupt, dismantle, and prosecute violent gang organizations by employing the authorities and investigative tools available to ICE. Operation Predator identifies child predators and removes them from the United States, subject to deportation.
30 Office of Detention and Removal Operations, Fugitive Operations Support Center Operational Plan, June 2006.
As of September 2006, the chief of the Fugitive Operations Support Center said that the staffing plan for the center has not yet been approved. Currently, the center has a staff of ten, including one supervisor, five officers, and four support personnel. Four additional staff members have been authorized but have not come on board as of September 2006.
Purpose, Scope, and Methodology
The purpose of our review was to determine: (1) the adequacy of the performance measures used to assess the effectiveness of Fugitive Operations Teams in completing their mission; (2) the teams’ progress in reducing the backlog of fugitive alien cases; (3) the adequacy of teams staffing levels resulting from additional funding and the Office of Detention and Removal Operations’ recruitment efforts; and (4) what factors affect the teams’ operations, such as coordination activities with internal and external entities and the Office of Detention and Removal Operations’ training policies.
We performed fieldwork from February 2006 through June 2006. We interviewed numerous Office of Detention and Removal Operations’ managers and analysts at headquarters in Washington, DC. We traveled to Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles; interviewed field office directors and Fugitive Operations Team members in those cities; and accompanied officers on fugitive apprehensions. We conducted telephone interviews of field office directors and team supervisors in Atlanta; Boston;
Buffalo; Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Denver; Fairfax, Virginia; Houston; Miami; Newark; New York City; Richmond, Virginia; Salt Lake City; San Francisco; and Seattle.
We visited the Fugitive Case Management Unit and United States Customs and Border Protection service center in Laguna Niguel, California, and interviewed staff from both offices. Additionally, we conducted a telephone interview with the chief of the Fugitive Operations Support Center in Burlington, Vermont. We interviewed, by telephone, a detective from the Boston Police Department and two sheriffs from Plymouth City, Massachusetts, Sheriff’s Departments. Also, we obtained information on the Fugitive Operations Training Program conducted at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.
During our fieldwork, we reviewed Fugitive Operations Teams’ documents, such as alien files, target folders, fugitive operations worksheets, weekly fugitive apprehension reports, performance work plans, and fugitive
operations plans. We also reviewed fugitive operations documents, the Office of Detention and Removal Operations’ financial management reports, and information on team staffing levels from headquarters. Additionally, we collected and analyzed data from the Deportable Alien Control System and
the Fugitive Case Management System and documentation from the Fugitive Case Management Unit, the Fugitive Operations Support Center, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
This review was scheduled as part of our annual work plan. Our work was conducted under the authority of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, and according to the Quality Standards for Inspections issued by the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency.
We recommended that the Assistant Secretary for United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement:
Recommendation 1: Establish a Fugitive Operations Team reporting system that enables Office of Detention and Removal Operations managers to classify all categories of apprehensions.
Recommendation 2: Conduct an assessment of the working space presently available to all Fugitive Operations Team members and develop a detailed plan to ensure that current and future officers are provided an adequate working environment that meets applicable federal standards.
Recommendation 3: Provide the resources needed by the Office of
Detention and Removal Operations to detain, process, and remove all fugitive aliens apprehended by the Fugitive Operations Teams.
Recommendation 4: Assign Fugitive Operations Team members in a manner consistent with its Detention and Deportation Officer's Manual or amend the manual to reflect current assignment practices.
Recommendation 5: Train and certify deportation officers who are not assigned to a Fugitive Operations Team to perform collateral duties, as needed in each field office, including firearms instructors, jail inspectors, and juvenile coordinators.
Recommendation 6: Negotiate information sharing agreements with federal, state, or local agencies that can provide access to information pertaining to fugitive aliens and provide the resources needed by the Office of Detention and Removal Operations to reconcile data from those agencies.
Recommendation 7: Assess the training requirements and needs of the Fugitive Operations Teams and consider establishing a fugitive operations refresher course.
Management Response to Draft Report
DEC 2 2 2086
MEMORANDUM FOR: Richard L. Ski.Jmer
Department of Homeland Security
FROM: Julie L. Myers·
SUBJECT: Response to OIG Draft Report: An Assessment of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Fugitive Operations Teams
The following response JS provided to the subject report
Establish a Fugitive Operations Team reporting system that enables Office of Detention and
Removal Operations managers to classify all categories of apprehensions.
ICE concurs with this recommendation. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) has satisfied tbis recommendation and requests that it be considered closed. ICE/DRO initiated the planning and development of the Fugitive Case Management System (FCMS) in April 2005. On March 3, 2006,the ICE Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) certified and accredited the system for use. From June 27 through June 28, 2006, supervisors met in St. Louis, Missouri for FCMS training. The system was ultimately made available to all .field offices on August 28, 2006 for Fugitive Operations Team (FOT) activity reporting.
ICE/DRO utilizes FCMS to track statistics in support of its overall mission. FCMS is also used to create reports and measure FOT weekly activity. Data entered by the field into FCMS populates statistical reports regarding fugitive team activity generated by Headquarters DRO
FCMS extracts data from the Deportable Alien Control System (DACS) to reconcile FCMS data and increase the quality of infmmation used to populate reports.
When officers enter activity into FCMS,they differentiate between various "Actions" by choosing the appropriate action for each case from a "drop-down" menu. Furthermore, the system is capable of identlfying the officer who conducted the action, thereby differentiating between FOT and non-FOT personnel. Using data entered into FCMS. HQDRO now can track field activity by actual anests, case closures, category changes, and detainers placed. This function was not previously available.
Subject: Response to OIG Draft Report: An Assessment ofUnitcd Slates I mmigration and Customs Enforcement's Fugitive Operations Teams
The followmg are definitions used by the field to determine which ·'Actrons" to select when entering data into FCM ·
Apprchensron: fOT personncl took an r ndividual imo custodly as a resu lt of an arrest. Located/Det ainer (T-247 Lodged): FOT personnel located and placed a detarncr on an
indi vidual detamed by another agency, including the Federal Bureau of Pnsons, and state, county, or local law enforcement agenc1es or Departments of Corrections.
Case Category Changed: The individual's category h<1s changed from a fugJt1vc status to another category i n DACS. This section may relate to a change in lega l proceedings; for instance. if an immigration judge gran ted a motion to reopen.
Case Closure: FOT personnel detem1inc that the <1lien rs no longer a fugitive and that the DAC case has been closed for one of these reasons (i.e., self-remova l, death.or receipt of an i mrlllg:ration benefit).
The continuation and development ofFCMS IS essential to accurate reporting. Using FCMS as the repotting tool for all fugi tive team enforcemen t activity will allow HQDRO to clearly distinguish and prospectively report the di ffercm types of actJvity the field conducts, such HS
act ual arTests (fugitive as well as non-fugitive), the number of case closures. cat egory changes, a nd detainers placed.
Recom mendation 2.
Conduct an assessment of the working space present ly available to all Fugitive Operations Team members and dc\·elop a detailed plan to ensure that current and future officers arc pro vided an adequate workmg enviromnent that meets applicable federal standards.
ICE concurs wi th th1s recommendation. Th1s recommendation has been satisfied in pan. /\. pace Allocat10n Sur\'ey (SAS) is incorporated in to the systematic process for identi fying the
need for additional workspace and then assessing available resources to accommodate su ch requests. The space acqu isrtion must be coordinated \.vrth several entities, includrng JCE
Facil it ies, the General Services Administration (G A) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) racilities. ORO continues to work with these entities to acquire the space necessary to fu lfillt h<:: lCE m ission.
In October 2006. i n a11 effort to facil itate the deployment of new fiscal year (FY) 2007 FOTs. the affccled field offices were asked to determine their facility needs. This request was made in
addit ion to the regu lar AS, and spectficall y asked whether the new srres or pre-existing sites neede<.l additional storage space, addi!iona l parking space, gyms, and holding facilities.
By conducting th is add itiOnal su rvey, ICE assessed the curTen t FOT \VOrkspace and assisted the efficient allocatton of future re ources to the most appropriate venues. Field offices arc now tn various stages of the procurement process. The survey produced the following results:
•Facility issues have been sculcd and no action is reqUJred for the deployment of five of rhe additional 23 fugitive teams for FY 2007.
• Three teams require temporary space while their new field/suboffices are being constructed/relocated. The new facilities will have adequate space to accommodate the fugitive teams.
• For seven of the teams, ORO IS aggressively pursumg the acquisi tion of space and IS
cun-ently working \Vlth ICE Facilities and GSA.
• Five teams have identified existing space at ICE facilities that can accommodate the teams' requirements. Two of the five teams only req Lure addirional parking spaces. The
·ational fugitive Operations Program (NfOP) be!Jeves that the parking 1ssues will be settled in the second quaner of this fiscal year.
• Three field offices are working to 1dentify areas within thetr extsting space to be util1zed as accommodations for thetr new team
GSA and ICEICBP Facilines were provided the results of the supplemental survey m order to ensure that space acquisition is completed m a t1rnely manner. Within the second quarter ofFY
2007.DRO will propose and develop a coordinated space acquisition plan with all entities
involved in the process.
Recommen dation 3:
Provide the resources needed by the Office of Detention and Removal Operations to detain, process, and remove all fugitive a hens apprehended by the f ugitive Operations Teams.
ICE concurs m part with this recommendation, as not all of the issues contained therein are within ICEIDRO's purview ICEIDRO has satisfied this recommendation within the areas directly under its control, and therefore requests that n be closed. It should be noted that at the time of the OIG assessment and audit oft he NFOP, the ICE Detention Operations Coordination Center (DOCC) was not yet fully operational. However, since the assessment, Congress allotted additional funds to DRO, whtch were earmarked specifically to address detention bed space.
The DOCC coordinates the movement and placement of detained aliens throughout the United States in order to effectively allocate detention space and accommodate the numerous enforcement actions that ICE conducts on a daily basis. The DOCC acts as a clearinghouse by prov1dmg information in a timely manner to the field and headquarters so that space, wtuch remains at a premium and can directly and adversely 1mpact field operations, is managed effectively.
Various units within lCE/DRO are currently engaged in an ongomg effort to develop a cohestve, comprehensive infrastrucnrre U1at would improve coordinated removal efforts and the management of detention space through immediate information sharing between the DOCC, Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS). and Air Transportation Unit (ATU). This effort IS developing an integrated detention and air and ground transportation program to maintarn the cquiJibrium between apprehension and detention throughout the TCEIDRO field offices, m order to sustain the ..catch and remove" policy. Th1s requires that field offices articulate their detention space and transportation needs based on coordination with non Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partners and with those withm DHS such as the ICE Office of Investigations, ICE/DRO Cnminal Alien Program, lCEIDRO FOTs, the 287(g) program, and CRP TI1esc detention space a nd transportation requtremcms are then arttcu l ated to the DOCC, which coordinat es with ATC and JPATS. The DOCC iden tifies availab le bed space and coordinates the ai r and ground transpor1ation resources to ef fect t he movement of detainees.
ICE/ORO is also Identifying ..air hubs" at st rategic locat ions in the United States. wi th supporting detention space and ground transportation contracts, to maxim i ze transportation efficiencies whi le maintarnmg the detention cqui libnurn of its fidtl offices. JPATS nights wou ld serve these hubs throu gh regul arly established a ir sched ul es. I CE/ ORO also authorized the acquisition oftwo add itional aircrafl, whrch will increase the JPATS fleet to six medium-srzed
a i rcraft ded icated to facilitating ICE movemems and one smaller aircraft to be based 111 Pu erto
R ico. .\lf od iiied Oighr schedules, ··ai r hubs", and supportmg detention and ground transportation w11l exped ite tnmsp.onatton for field offices and increase operational Oexibility.
It should be noted that t he immigration process is affected by many factors beyond the control of ICEfDRO. Forei gn em bassies and consulates can delay or refuse the issuance of travel documents for LIH.:ir na tionals, while the Execu tive Office for Immigration Review and federal courts can directly im pact the removal process through grants of reli ef, mouons to reopen,
tssuancc of stays, and other legal decisions.
Furthermore. ICE/ORO must adhere to standing legal requirements for dctentron. The Supreme Coun of the united States has ordered that a fter I 80 days, an a lien in J CE c ustod y who possesses a final order of removal and is not subject to mandatory custod y must be released if it appears
that removal is not reasonabl y foreseeable. Under the Immigration and :\a tional it y Act (INA),§
241, DHS has 90 days to remove a deta i ned alien a ft er a final order of removalrs issu ed. After
90 days, the a)jcn receives a custod y review. lC EIDRO releases certa i n aliens when there is not sufficient evidence to believe they pose a risk of flrght or danger to t11e community, or that their
removal is inm1inent. For certain classes of a liens, INA § 241 allows for continu ed detention
even after the removal period. However, all aliens are subject to the Supreme Cou rt 's decisions i n Zadvydas v. Davis and Clark v. Martmez. which interpret authority to detai n beyond 90 days as reasonably necessary to effect that alien's removal from the Uni ted States. The upreme
Couit held that six m onths r s a reasonable period oft1mc. Under the regul at ions promu l ga ted post-Zadvydas, an alien must be rel eased after 180 days if there is no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable fu ture. Exceptions occur when the alien fails to cooperate, is gra nted a stay of removal. or is dcs1gnated as a specia l Ci rcumstances case under the
regulations of 8 C'FR 241 I 4. Thrs six-month analysts rs based largel y on whether ICE can obt am a t ravel document for the alien. Many coumries unreasona bly delay issuing travel documents to their nat ionals or refuse to issue travel documenrs altogether. In FY 2005, 1,007 aliens were released under Zadvydas, and in FY 2006, 431 a li ens were released.
These ex ternal conditions 1mpcde the abili ty o flCE to execute removal operations. Recommen d ation 4:
Gse Fu gttr ve Operations Team members solel y fo r apprehending fugitive aliens with unexecuted final orders of removal or closing fugiti ve a lien cases.
ICE docs not concur with th r s rcconm1cnda tion. The identifica t ion and arrest oC fugitive aliens 1s an obligatory enforcement actron on the part ofa iiJ CE enforcement dt viswns and components including the FOTs. The FOTs, althou gh primaril y called upon ro adm ini st rat ively arrest fugitive aliens, are also required to assist in ensunng the overall effective m1plementation of LCE compliance measures. ICE must ensure that the primary mission of protecting the borders and preventmg future terrorist attacks 1s accomplished, therefore, ICE must effectively utilize and allocate all of its resources. The OIG report references Chapter 19 Section 4.1 of the Detention and Deportation Officer's Field Manual (DDFM) (sic), wruch indicates that a permanent
Fugitive Operations Team's (FOT) m1ssion ts the elimination of fug1L1ve cases in their assigned office and as such would abide by the following gu idelines:
1) Shall only be ass1gned to fugitive cases w1th an emphasis on backlog cases.
2) Shall not be assigned to any duties that will deter them from conducting fugitive operations, including but not Limi ted to, case management of the general detained or non-detained dockets, escorts, and collateral dunes normally accomplished by general assignment deportation officers.
The mtent of these strictures was to ensure that the funded posit1ons for fugitive operations would be utili7.ed as such and the primru-y focus for the fugitive un i ts should be to aggressively pursue the reduction of the extant fugitive alien population. ICE/ORO estabhshed a unit to identify, locate, arrest. and remove fugitive aliens as well as reduce the fugttlve case backlog. ICE/DRO did not intend for the guidelines to exclude all other collateral assignments or prohibit the Field Office Directors' ability to allocate needed resources m ord er to accommodate an
evol ving national agenda or to meet existing circumstances.
ICE has also established measurable fiscal-year goals for the FOTs located throughout the field offices. One thousand administrative arrests are expected from each field office based on the number of teams located within the area of operational responsibility (AOR). Furthermore, the unplementruion and use ofFCMS, in addition to the production and dissemination of weekly and monthly reports from Headquarters to the field offices, \vill assist in the effective management of FOTs. Such a system facilitates frequent feedback between operations m the field and Headquarters, which in tum allows Field Office Directors to rece1ve data that will assist them m assessing their progress toward specific fiscal year goals. If the data indicates that goals are not currently being met, the information will serve as an effective management tool to detem1ine the causes for the performance or lack thereof
ICE/DRO will develop a plan of acnon to assess U1ese DDF'M gwdelines wi thin 90 days and determine i f revisions to the manual are necessary. tfiCE/DRO revises the manual, a ll alterations will be implemented by the close of the second quarter ofFY 2007.
Recommendation 5 :
Tram and certify deportation officers who are not ass1gned to a Fugitive Operations Team to perform colJateral duties, as needed in each field office, including fiream1s instructors, jail inspectors, and JUvenile coordinators.
ICE concurs it1 part. ICE regularl y trains and certifies deportation officers not assigned to a Fugitive Operations Team to perform collateral duties, as needed in each field office. including firearms instructors, jail inspectors, and Juvenile coordinators. Yet. m order effectively tmplcment ICE compliance measu res and accomplish ICE's overall mission of protecting the borders and preventing future terrorist attacks, ICEIDRO must have the flexibility to utilize and allocate all of its resou rces. mcludingpcrsonnel not ass1gned to FOTs, 10 meet constantly evolving conditions and national manda t es.
Any overarching plans that limit the Field Office Directors' abil ity or discretion to assign dulles would also limit t he their flexibility to allocate resources for existing circumst ances. such as responding to ICE and D HS national priorities.
Furthermore, collective bargaimng ISSues wi ll require union negotmtions if there is an attempt to l imit or categorize an officer to a spcci fie job responsibility that could adversely impact t heir career growth. ICE requires a multi-disciplined, dynamic workforce that can provide
com prehensive support to ICE's multi-faceted miSSIOn. Permitting officers to participate i n n
variet y of asstgnments aUows them to enhance thei r careers by gaining valuable field experience
111 several enforcement and non-enforcement venue .
TCE believes the cu rrent level of training and certi ficatiOn for deportation officers not assigned to
FOTs is adequate to meet the collateral needs ofthe FOTs and supporr the broader mission of the agency.
Negotiate mformat10n-sha ring agreements w t th federal. state. or local agencies that ca n provide access to tnfonnation pertaining to fug1t1vc aliens and provide the resources needed by the Office of Detention and Removal Operations to reconciJe the data from those agencies.
ICE concu rs with this recommendation and has satisfied its requ1remen ts. ICE respectfully requests that this recomm endatiOn be closed. lCE/ DRO has continually pursued and mainLained infonnation-sharing agreements with numerous lederal, state, and local agencies.
ICE Program Offices enter in to a variety olmformation-sharing agreements with outside agencJCs to include federal, state and local la"v enforcement agencies. All information-sharing agreements arc developed under and abide by the approp1·iatc DH and lCE govcnH ng legal authori t ies and Information Technology security standards and n1ay be subject to Privacy Impact Assessments. All agreements arc subject to Third Pany Agency mles and are coordinated between the respective Program Office, Office of Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) and, OC IO, and are executed hy t he appropriate information owner or Designa ted Accredi ted Aut hority. All lCE in fotmation-sharing i11itiarivcs such as Entcq)rise Agreements. which includes Memoranda
of Understanding and Interconnection Security Agreemems, arc designed to suppon and advance a speci fie m1ssion need.
Currently, ICE/ORO bas approxim atel y 330 Enterprise Agreements in place with a vanet y of federal agencies. such as the Uni ted tatcs Marshals Service and the Federal Burea u of Ptisons. as well as srate and local municipa lities, such as the ew York State Pollee and the Riverside County Shcnfrs Office. Al though ICE aggressively pursues information sharing wi th outsid e agencies in order to provide ICE personnel t he most accurate Informa tion possi ble, it docs not have the legal autho1ity to leg-tslate and req u ire hat every federal; stare, and local agency must provide information to ICE or enter into :;v1emoranda of understandi ng. Enterprise Agreements arc freely entered into bct\.veen ICE and the respecti ve agencies a nd there is no legal mechamsm
to enforce compliance.
Moreover, through the prior establishment of the Fugitive Operations Support Center (FOSC), TCE provides. resources to assist DRO in processing data from outside agencies and sources. The FO C reconciles data from both external government and private sources. After collarion, vetting, and compilat ion, acLionable i nformation ts disseminated to suppon fugitive operations i n
Furthem1orc, ICE has enhanced the DRO infrastructure through the development and mamtenance of the FOSC. whtch assists in reconciling and vetting data rccetved from those agencies with whom ICE has infon11ation-shanng agrccmems. ORO developed the FOSC in
2005 in an effort to enhance the effictency and effect i veness of the"FOP. By close of calendar year 2005, a Director for t he FOSC was selected. In March 2006, t he FOSC hired some staff and provided some supp011 to mdividual field exercises. In June 2006, the FOSC began limited operations and by .I uly of the same year the FOSC became fully operational.
The FOSC, through the use of technology and partnerships wi th law enforcement agenc1es, wi 1l serve as a force multipl ier fot· the NFOP. The FOSC is located in Burlington, Vermont, and reports to the Compliance Enforcement Oivrision in Washington, D.C. The fOSC reviews and updates absconder cases Ill DACS, develops leads for and provides assistance to FOTs, develops
! ational Fugitive Field Operations, and manages the absconder numbers. The FOSC is current l y
se king cont ractor assistance to conduct analysis, screening. background checks, and related support activities for the vetting of fugitive/absconder aliens. During October 2006, the fOSC resolved 2,488 absconder cases in DACS due to an appropriate case category change, and/or by locating the absconder while incarcerated and placing a detainer on the absconder. Dlll·ing the same month, the FOSC compared all of the absconder case data to the data located within the Central I ndex System and is currently conducting an analysts to determine the appropriate case
The FOSC rematns commiltcd to pursuing mformation-sharing resources to aid in their func!ton with the FOTs as the ultimate beneficiari s.
Assess the traiining requ i rements and needs of the Fugitive Operations Teams and consider establishing a fuginvc operations refresher course.
ICE concurs and has partially satisfied the recommendation. In August 2006, the
HQ Fuglltve Operations Unit consulted with the DRO trai111ug division at the
Federa l Law Enforcement Tra t ning Center (FLETC) to review the existing fugit ive operations curriculum ru1d to dctermme the relevance of cun·cnt training manuals and subject matter.
Based on these discussions, ICE revised the CUITCnt lesson plans and incorporated a larger sclecnon of contemporaneous material, such as the identi tication of mcthamphctamtne
This endeavor provides fugitive operat ions officers in the field with real world scenarios so that daily operational tactics may be better assessed. Because the curriculum has not been finali/cd, ICE has decided to postpone the cun·ently scheduled bas1c F"Ugitive Operations course. It is anticipated thait courses will recommence during the second quarter ofFY 2007. Measures have been taken to ensure that this delay does not adversely impact the rigorous training schedule.
Furthermore. it is est1mated that C\'ery officer prcv10usly scheduled to altcnd the basic Fugi ti ve Operations course will be accommodated, and the Fugiti ve Operations unit will not be remiss by failing to provide an enhanced traimng moduEe.
Currently, there is an msufficient number or petmanent instructors for the Fugitive Operations training program at FLETC, however, it is anticipated that t his will be remedi ed withi n the FY 2007. Upon the lluman Cap i tal Traming Unit receiving add i tional staff, TCE anticipates the creatton of a supplcmentallrcfi·eshcr course which will be developed for implementation during FY 2007. A rcti·esher course proposal will he developed and forthcoming in 90 days.
Should you or your staff have any questions, please contact Clinett Short at (202) 616-7629.
cc Steven Pecinosvsky, DH Audit Liaison
Clinen Shott, ICE OTG Audit Ponfolio Manager
Management Response to Draft Report
February 13, 2007
Memorandum for: Richard L. Skinner
Department of Homeland Security
From: Julie L.Myers
Subject: Modification to Response to O!G Draft Report:Ao Assessment of United States Immigration and Customs Enforccmcnfs Fugitive Operations Teams.
ICE submits the following modified response to the recommendations of the subject report., per
the OIO's e-mail memorandwn of February 13, 2007.
In its e-mail memorandum, OIG proposed the foUo·wiag change:
(OLD) Recommendation 4:Use Fugitive Operations Team membors solely for appreh.ending
fugitive aliens with uu.executed :final ordetS of removlll or closing fugitive alien cases.
(PROPOSED lliEW) Recommendation 4: Assign Fugitive Operations Team members in a manner consistent witb its Detention and Deportation Officer's :'vfa:nual or amend the manual to reflect current assignment practicos
ICE submits the following for the proposed new recommendation:
1) Change tbc start of the ICE respon._c:e to "ICE concurs with this recommendation.
2) Strike the following sentence from the end of Paragraph 2- "ICEmRO did not intend for the guidelines to exclude all other collateral assignments or prohibit the Field Office Directors' ability to allocate needed resources in order to accommodate an evolving national agenda or meet existing circ:umsta.nces."
3) Insert the following sentence in its place- '1CEIDRO intended for the guidelines to enb.aDce Field Office Director ability to allocate nsources as needed, including through colla!eral assigmneots as necessary,to accommodate evolving national enforcement efforts or meet existing circnmstances.•
Ifyou have any questions conccmin& Ibis response, please contact Clineu Short. the ICE OIG
audit portfolio lllllll&p, at (20Z) 616-7629.
MEMORANDUM FOR: Traci Lt:rpbke
FROM:J ohn P.
SUBJECT:Comments on the Office of Inspector General's Draft Report Entitled '"An Assessment of United States immigration and Customs Enforcement's Fugitive Operations Teams"
Attached are technical comment.'\ prepared by the Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) related to the Office of Inspector General 's draft Report entitled, "An Assessment of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Fugitive Operations Teams.'' Following a careful review of the report, DRO has concluded that the draft Report fails to acknowledge many of the positive steps already independently taken by DRO to address issues identified therei n. The attached teclmical comments explain these positive steps and identify other apparent misperceptions in the draft Report. DRO would request that these technical comments be published with the Report
when it is finalized, if not adopted in their entirety.
Office of Detention and Removal Operations Review of the Report
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) has reviewed the Inspector General 's draft Report. The followi ng discussion represents a page-by-page analysis of that document, includ ing areas where DRO believes that the report either lacks adequate updated information or has i ncorrectly described the program.
General Recommendations for Draft Report Clarification
ICE refers to the act of taking an alien into ICE custody as an arrest, and no longer uses the term "apprehension(s)." Throughout the draft report, where OIG has used the term "apprehensi on" to refer to the act of tak ing a subject into ICE custody please replace the word "apprehension" with the word "arrest."
ICE refers to "fugitive aliens" rather than the much broader term of "fugitives." A "fugitive" is any absconder from justice, and is a m uch broader category than "fugitive alien."
In March 2006, DRO changed the name of the Detention and Deportation Officer 's Field Manual (DDFM) to the Detention and Removal Operations Policy and Procedure Manual (DROPPM). References to the DDFM should be changed to ORO PPM throughout the report.
Execu tive Summary
Page 1, second paragraph: We suggest deleting the following sentences: "A fugitive alien is an individual who has been issued an unexecuted final order of removal from the
£xecutive Office for Immigration Review. The order requires the alien to be removed from this country."
lt seems incorrect to describe 'issuance" of an unexecuted final order, as the Executive Office for Immigration Review could not issue an "executed" final order. Issuance and execution of a removal order are disti nct events. Once an "issued" order becomes administrative final, DRO may lawfully "execute"the order.
Page l , second paragraph reads, "Since 2003, the office allocated more than $204 million to deploy 52 Fugitive Operations Teams and, as of August 2006, 45 teams are apprehendingf ilgiiives in various cities nationwide."
The sentence should read as follows:"Since 2003, the office allocated more than
$204 million to deploy 52 Fugitive Operations Teams and, as of October 2006,
50 teams are arresting fugitives in various cities nationwide."
Pages 2, third paragraph: 'Ibe following sentence should be deleted: ('Fugitive aliens are non-United States citizens ·who have been placed into formal removal proceedings, have been issued afinal order of removal by an ;mmigrationjudgefrom the Executive Office for lmmigralion Review (EOIR), and whose whereabouts are unknown. "
The sentence above should be replaced with the following:"Fugitive aliens are
non- U nited States citizens not currentl y in the custody or control of ICE who have failed to depart the United States pursuant to a final order of removal , deportation or exclusion or have failed to report to a DRO officer after receiving notice to do so."
Page 3, second paragraph: "an ejfor1 to stop rhe increase of fugitives in this coumry" would be more accurately phrased as "an effort to stop the increase of fugitive ali ens in this country."
Results of Review
Fugitive Apprehension Reports Sltould Accurately Reflect tlte Teams' Activities
Page 7, first paragraph: The weekly field office "apprehension reports" were renamed weekly field office "enforcement activity" reports in Septem ber 2006 to more accurately reflect the statistics measured by the reports.
Please change all references to ''apprehension reports" in this Draft Report to
"enforcement activity reports".
For example, the sentence in the draft Report which reads, "To measure the FOTs' performance, DRO uses weekly field office apprehension reports provided to
DRO headquarters." should now read as follows: "To measure the FOTs' performance, DRO uses weekly field office enforcement activity reports provided to ORO headquarters."
Page 7, first paragraph, sentence states: "The reports also included case closures, in which the FOT verified that a fugitive alien died, voluntarily left the country, or changed their immigration status by, for example, becoming a United States cilizen or legal permanent resident."
Fugitive aliens do not "voluntarily leave the country" (i.e., a phrase which evokes such legal concepts as "voluntary departure" and "voluntary return"); instead, they self--execute their outstanding orders of removal.
Page 7, first paragraph, sentence. states:"The reported apprehensions involved wuying
levels of FOT effort.from taking custody of and processing aliens already arrested by other law enforcement agencies to receiving leads, searching databases, talking to informants. and making apprehensions".
As stated in the comment above, please change the language to read as follows: "The reported enforcement activities i nvolved varying levels of FOT effort ....
Page 7, second paragraph: Please add the following information to the draft report:
In August 2006, DRO implemented the Fugitive Case Management System (FCMS) at all its field offices nationwide to track FOT statistics. The use of FCMS has improved DRO FOT mctrics, allowing enhanced tracking of FOTs' progress toward annual arrest target goals. Notabl y, FCMS has the ability to record the name of the officer responsible for conducting the enforcement activity. Recording the name of the officer associated with the enforcement action allows DRO to audit all activit es and determine whether a FOT officer was responsible for the activity.thereby providing a means by which managers can assess FOT performance.
The ultimate goal of ORO and the FOTs is to reduce the fugit ive alien population in the U.S. Although the primary responsibility of reducing the fugitive alien population in the United States resides with the FOTs, all DRO officers are responsible for the arrest and closure of fugitive alien cases that they encounter during the course of their duties. FCMS enforcement activity reports trac.k the total number of fugitive aliens deducted from the fugit'ive alien population, regardless of whether the enforcement activity was conducted by FOTs or other DRO officers.
Page 8, fourth paragraph: Please add a footnote indicating that Acting Director Torres
was appoi nted to the position of Director of DRO in October 2006.
Page 8, fourth paragraph: Please update footnote 18. The FOSC became operational in
Page 9, Table 2: Title for Table 2 should be changed from "Fugitive Apprehension Reported by Field Offices with Authorized Teams" to "Fugitive Enforcement Activity Reported by Field Offices with Authorized Teams"
Change column name "Total Fugitive Apprehensions" to "Total Fugitive Enforcement
Activities". This change would also apply to Page 13, Table 4.
Change "Source: DRO fugitive apprehensions report" to Source: DRO fugitive enforcement .activity report."
Page I 0, first and second paragraphs: Change all references to "apprehension" or
"apprehensions" to "enforce ment activity" and "enforcement activities," respectively.
Page II , first paragraph: change reference to "apprehension" to "enforcement activity".
Fugitive Alie11 Backlog Is l11creasing Despite the Teams' Efforts
Page I 3 - Bed Space Constrain ts - Please add the following paragraphs:
ICE implemented a number of significant mission enhancing efficiencies, such as shortened removal cycle times; i ncreased use of the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (J PATS) and ot her ai r assets; and rapid activation of detention facilities. These effici encies have created additional detent ion capacity at various locations around the country and provided Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies opportunities to dramatically increase the apprehension and removal of illegal aliens.
In July 2006, ICE establ ished the Detention Operations Coordination Center (DOCC). The DOCC was established to ensure that all ICE field offices have adequate detention space for routine apprehensions, coordinating special operations that require large numbers of detention beds, and bed space management on a nat ional scale, thus ensuring no alien amenable to removal proceedings will be released from Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) custody due to a lack of detention space.
Through capacity planning and bed space management, the average number of aliens detained in FY06 has increased from 20,683 on October 1, 2005 to 27,390 on September
30, 2006. This results in a total increase of 6,707 detained al iens per day. In particular, since November 2005, a total of 6,300 beds have been added to support the President's Secure Border Init iative. Initiall y, 2,300 SBI beds were provided along the SW Border. For fiscal year 2007, Congress earmarked an enhancement of6,700 beds to JCE/DRO. As part of Operation Jumpstart, the first 4,000 of the FY07 enhancement beds were provided during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2006.
Page I 5, second paragraph: Please note that although DACS does not have zip code search capabil ities; the FOSC utilizes DACS data in conjunction with information from outside vendors to provide a central source of zip code information to FOTs, thereby eliminating the need for ad hoc databases withi n each field office.
Removal Rate of Teams' Fugitive Aliell Apprelte11sio11s Call not Be Determi11ed
Pages 1 7-18: This entire section should be removed; DRO does in fact track the removal rate of fugitive aliens.
Our FCMS-gcneratcd enforcement activity repot1S arc reconciled with DACS data to determine the total number of fugitive aliens removed as a result ofFOT enforcement acti vit ies. f rom March 2003 to September 30, 2006, NFOP enforcement activities have resulted in the removal of more than 30,470 fugiti ve al iens from the Uni ted State.s.
Effective Part11erships with Federal, State, atJd Local Age11cies Exist
Pages 25-26: Please note that the Fugitive Operation Support Center (FOSC) is in the process of advertising a support contract solicitation to identify a vendor with existi ng data-sharing agreements in place with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The FOSC will utilize the contractor's Jaw en forcement data, and the contractor will be responsible for maintaining its data sharing agreements with these agencies. When completed, the contract will allow the FOSC to make use of a single data system, which is continually updated and consistently formatted, to collect other law enforcement agency infom1ation relevant to fugitive alien enforcement activity.
In addition, the FOSC has begun an extensive electronic reviev.·. of fugi tive cases, which will last for several months. The FOSC will close appropriate cases and provide comprehensive leads to the Field Offices on many others, facilitating efforts to meet t he per-team goal of l ,000 arrests.
Appendix A: Remov11l Proceedings Process
Page 33: The report references a form of immigration relief called "change of immigration status." This term is not entirely clear. Perhaps the writer intended to indicate "adjustment of status to that of a la·wful permanent resident" (such as under sections 209 or 245 of the lmmigration and Nationa lity Act).
Major Contributors to this Report
Jacqueline Simms, Senior Inspector, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspections
Kristine Odiña, Inspector, Department of Homeland Security, Office of
Michael Zeitler, Inspector, Department of Homeland Security, Office of
Department of Homeland Security
Deputy Secretary Chief of Staff Deputy of Staff General Counsel Executive Secretary
Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Assistant Secretary for Policy
Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Affairs
DHS OIG Audit Liaison
ICE Audit Liaison
Chief Privacy Officer
Office of Management and Budget
Chief, Homeland Security Branch
DHS Program Examiner
Congressional Oversight and Appropriations Committees, as appropriate
Additional Information and Copies
To obtain additional copies of this report, call the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at (202) 254-4100, fax your request to (202) 254-4285, or visit the OIG web site at www.dhs.gov.
To report alleged fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement, or any other kind of criminal or noncriminal misconduct relative to department programs or operations, call the OIG Hotline at 1-800-323-8603; write to Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528, Attn: Office of Inspector General, Investigations Division – Hotline. The OIG seeks to protect the identity of each writer and caller.