In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, 19 senior investigators at Immigration and Customs Enforcement called for the agency to be separated into two distinct agencies.
The letter, sent to Nielsen last month, explains that immigration enforcement duties have interfered with the work of Homeland Security Investigations, a sub agency of ICE. And if disbanded from ICE, HSI can continue to work unfettered while immigration enforcement continues to be conducted the Enforcement and Removals Operations section of ICE.
“While separating HSI and ERO will have some administrative challenges, the establishment of two separate and independent agencies, will improve transparency, efficiency and effectiveness,” the letter states. “There are numerous reasons the establishment of two separate agencies will improve both agencies. Both agencies have suffered low approval ratings in recent DHS Federal Viewpoint surveys. The establishment of two separate agencies will allow employees to develop a strong agency pride.”
The letter continues: “The current structure does not allow for each agency’s distinctive missions to develop; rather, it results in each agency lacking the ability to find a direction and seemingly competing for budget, resources and an identity.”