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Immigration Enforcement Agent

Career Overview

Immigration Enforcement Agents are responsible for processing and deporting or escorting aliens who have been ordered removed from the United States to their country of citizenship. An important part of the job is working in the detention program, where they ensure the care of aliens in custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).

Immigration enforcement agents handle intake and outtake processing as well as supervising and transporting detained aliens. Agents gather intelligence, evidence and information; they are also the officers that conduct raids on businesses suspected of employing large numbers of illegal aliens.


Immigration enforcement agents must be hired before their 37th birthday unless they are transitioning from another federal agency. A bachelors degree is required; some relevant experience may be substituted for educational requirements. Degrees in criminal justice or homeland security will be of some value.

Current Employment

ICE has approximately 15,000 employees working in 400 domestic offices and 50 offices in other countries.

Job Outlook

The competition for immigration enforcement special agent positions is extremely high. Applicants are given an exam prior to being put on a potential employee list. The test score, experience and education will dictate your priority on that list. Applicants can wait for a year or more to be considered for further evaluation. Recruiting is managed through the local ICE office.

Salary Range

Immigration Enforcement Agents enter service at the
GS-11 Rate: $48,148 - $62,593 Annually

Source: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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