Immigration, customs agency may be headed for hiring spree

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is planning to hire 2,000 agents to work at its division responsible for detaining illegal aliens and sending them out of the United States when possible, according to a recent internal memorandum.

Stephen Dade, Pacific Rim regional director for the Federal Protective Service, which also is within ICE, told about 130 employees in an e-mail memorandum Sunday that "2,000 openings in [ICE's Office of] Detention and Removal [Operations] would be available soon." He added that "this is a good opportunity for police officers who do not want to become [FPS] inspectors to jump ship while the jumping is good."

Dade, when contacted by Government Executive, confirmed that ICE will start hiring shortly, but deferred all other questions to the agency's press office, which did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Dade said when the positions do become available, they will be listed at .

If 2,000 agents are hired, ICE would grow by more than 13 percent, to about 17,000 employees from 15,000. ICE is the Homeland Security Department's largest investigative branch and has four main divisions, including FPS, which is responsible for securing the more than 8,800 federal facilities nationwide.

A source familiar with ICE management said hiring will begin soon for regions "where there are large [detention] facilities and immigration courts, such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix [and] Miami." The immigration agent positions will be "heavily weighted" toward the Southwest because of ongoing efforts to enforce immigration law there, the source said, but some positions may open up in New York, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco as well.

ICE will be hiring GS-1801 agents, Dade said in the memorandum. He told FPS employees that, in order to be eligible for the positions, they must be 37 or younger and meet other standards on which he did not elaborate. About 200 protective service employees qualify, he stated.

Another source aware of the hiring plans said a recent pitch offering employees at the cash-strapped FPS early retirement did not attract many takers. "A hundred or so people took [the offer]," the source said. "That's not enough."

In his memorandum, Dade said ICE regional directors were informed of the coming openings with the Office of Detention and Removal Operations Friday during a conference call. "I know that deep cuts still need to be made to get us through this temporary financial situation," he told FPS employees.

While the detention and removal office is bolstering its ranks in what appears to be a greater effort to control illegal immigrants and promote immigration law enforcement, FPS remains under a hiring freeze, sources confirmed. The agency faced a budget shortfall of $42 million in fiscal 2006, in part because of agencies' failures to make timely payments for security services provided by FPS. Congressional appropriators, in a report accompanying DHS' spending bill for fiscal 2007, requested a report explaining how the agency's funding predicament developed and how it will be fixed.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.