Criminal Alien Program

Criminal Alien Program

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) places a high priority on combating illegal immigration, including targeting illegal aliens with criminal records who pose a threat to public safety.

The Criminal Alien Program provides ICE-wide direction and support in the identification and arrest of those aliens who are incarcerated within federal, state and local prisons and jails, as well as at-large criminal aliens. It is incumbent upon ICE to ensure that all efforts are made to investigate, arrest and remove individuals from the United States by processing the alien expeditiously and securing a final order of removal for an incarcerated alien before the alien is released to ICE custody. The identification and processing of incarcerated criminal aliens, before release from jails and prisons, decreases or eliminates the time spent in ICE custody and reduces the overall cost to the federal government.

Criminal Alien Program Components

Jails and Prisons

ERO officers and agents assigned to CAP in federal, state and local prisons and jails throughout the country screen inmates and place detainers on criminal aliens to process them for removal before they are released to the general public. After the screening process and interviews, ERO initiates proceedings to remove the criminal aliens from the United States.

Violent Criminal Alien Section (VCAS)

The primary responsibility of VCAS is to enforce violations of criminal immigration law found through the enforcement activities of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). The aggressive prosecution of criminal offenders identified by ERO officers, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, further ensures public safety and provides a significant deterrent to recidivism.

Joint Criminal Alien Removal Taskforces (JCART)

JCART identifies, investigates and arrests at-large criminal aliens with, but not limited to, convictions for drug trafficking offenses, crimes of violence and sex offenses. JCART will also identify and target aliens involved in human trafficking, smuggling and transnational organized crime for increased information collection. In addition to working with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, JCART partners with other law enforcement entities, such as probation and parole offices, the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Prisons, and local law enforcement agencies to conduct special operations.

Detention Enforcement and Processing Offenders by Remote Technology (DEPORT)

Approximately 27 percent of inmates in Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) custody are non-U.S. citizens. ERO created the DEPORT Center in Chicago to process this population through CAP. ERO officers and agents assigned to the DEPORT Center conduct interviews of BOP inmates nationwide using video teleconference equipment. Through the combined effort of the DEPORT Center and local ERO resources, criminal aliens from all federal detention facilities are taken into ERO custody upon completion of their sentences.

Rapid Removal of Eligible Parolees Accepted for Transfer

This program is a joint partnership with state correctional/parole agencies. It helps ICE more effectively identify and expeditiously remove criminal aliens from the United States. By allowing for the conditional, early release of non-violent aliens with final orders of removal from the United States, the program also reduces the burden on American taxpayers.