Enforcement and Removal Operations

Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) enforces the nation’s immigration laws in a fair and effective manner. It identifies and apprehends removable aliens, detains these individuals when necessary and removes illegal aliens from the United States. This unit prioritizes the apprehension, arrest and removal of convicted criminals, those who pose a threat to national security, fugitives and recent border entrants. Individuals seeking asylum also work with ERO.

ERO transports removable aliens from point to point, manages aliens in custody or in an alternative to detention program, provides access to legal resources and representatives of advocacy groups and removes individuals from the United States who have been ordered to be deported.

Enforcement and Removal Operations

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Recent News

2/11/2013 Washington, DC ICE deports former director of Salvadoran children's home to face charges of sexually assaulting children under his care

2/1/2013 Salt Lake City, UT ICE deports 2 Utah child predators

1/29/2013 Chicago, IL ICE arrests 51 during 4-day operation targeting criminal aliens, immigration fugitives in the Chicagoland area

1/25/2013 Baltimore, MD ICE deports MS-13 gang member wanted for murder in Honduras

1/24/2013 San Antonio, TX Record number of aliens prosecuted in south Texas in fiscal year 2012

1/24/2013 New York, NY ICE removes Dominican Republic fugitive wanted for multiple murders

read more news about Enforcement and Removal or Secure Communities


To identify, arrest, and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts. ERO upholds America’s immigration laws at, within and beyond our borders through efficient enforcement and removal operations.


Gary Mead, Executive Associate Director Enforcement and Removal OperationsGary Mead
Executive Associate Director, Enforcement and Removal Operations

Gary Mead is the executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Washington D.C. Mr. Mead oversees a $2.5 billion budget and 8,395 employees. ERO promotes public safety and national security by removing national security threats, high-risk criminal aliens, illegal alien fugitives, and absconders; and ensuring safe and effective custody management for more than 30,000 illegal aliens in custody each day

Between 1974 and 2006, he served in the U.S. Marshals Service where he held a number of Senior Executive Service law enforcement and administrative positions at the associate and assistant director levels. His areas of responsibility included Prisoner Operations, Asset Forfeiture, JPATS, Management and Budget, Human Resources, and the U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy. Between 2006 and 2008, he served as the assistant director for management, deputy director and acting director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations (currently, ERO). From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Mead was a self-employed criminal justice and immigration consultant. He returned to ICE in November 2009 as deputy assistant director, and then assistant director, of Detention Management.

Mr. Mead holds a master's degree and has received two Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Awards.

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Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Offices

Contact one of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices.