July 27, 2006
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plays a vital role in securing our homeland - within our country’s borders, through the work of ICE attaché offices overseas, and by extending efforts to locations such as Afghanistan and Iraq.
Before hostilities began in Iraq, ICE deployed agents to the Middle East at the request of the U.S. Central Command. Embedded within U.S. military units, the ICE team focused its investigations on entities that had illegally provided weapons components and financial support to Iraq. With the fall of the Iraqi regime, ICE’s objectives broadened to include a variety of missions with the intent to facilitate a stable and free Iraq, capable of self-governance.
Efforts in Iraq included recovery of missing Iraqi artifacts, tracking down Saddam Hussein’s assets, discovery of missiles in Iraq, tracking senior Iraqi government fugitives and port assessments to determine vulnerabilities and enhance security.
In addition to efforts within ICE, more than 100 ICE employees were called to active duty with their National Guard and Reserve units, and most of these were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. Several were wounded in battle, and one was killed in action near Baghdad. These employees worked to establish and strengthen relationships with Iraqi citizens, assist in combat operations, rebuilt infrastructure, and assist with security measures.