Along with fighting other types of federal crimes, Iowa’s special agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seek out fugitives from justice who attempt to hide in the state.
In 2010, the population of illegal immigrants in Iowa was estimated at 75,000 out of a total population of 3,046,857. In recent years, ICE agents have identified several Iowa-based companies that hire illegal immigrants. These agents aggressively pursue the management of these companies, frequently in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies.
Requirements to Become an ICE Agent in Iowa
Basic Requirements – ICE standards for becoming a special agent include being a citizen of the US and not being older than 36. The latter requirement can be waived for veterans. ICE requirements for criminal investigators, or special agents, include a strong educational component.
Academic Requirements – Applicants are required to have achieved one of several marks of distinction for a bachelor’s degree or to have attended graduate school for a year. These marks of distinction include one of the following:
- Ranking in the top third of the class
- Having been elected to a national honor society
- Having achieved a B+ in courses for their major or a B in all courses
How to Apply – When ready to apply to become an ICE special agent in Iowa, candidates should monitor the official site for federal jobs to find out when ICE is advertising available positions in the state. Applicants undergo a full background check as part of a rigorous screening process to ensure that only the best candidates are hired.
Training – Recruits begin their careers by training for 22 weeks in Georgia at the Federal Law Enforcement Center (FELC). This paid training includes academic coursework, becoming highly physically fit, and learning to use firearms skillfully.
Iowa’s Special Agent in Charge – Iowa residents who want to learn more about becoming an ICE agent should contact the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for the state. Iowa’s SAC can be found in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Office. The number for this office is 952-853-2940.
ICE at Work to Combat Crime in Iowa
ICE agents have identified a number of cases in Iowa in which businesses hired multiple illegal aliens. One case that combined the harboring of illegal aliens with a substantial amount of fraud was that of the CEO of Agriprocessors, Inc.
ICE and FBI agents collaborated on this case that resulted in the man receiving a 27 year federal prison sentence in 2010. He had been found guilty of 86 counts of financial fraud and other offenses in 2009.
The CEO was shown to have had personal involvement in harboring hundreds of illegal aliens at this company. In addition, he committed large scale money laundering involving tens of millions of dollars. He also stole about $1.5 million from Agriprocessors that he used to furnish a lavish lifestyle.
One case from 2011 involved an Iowa couple who owned Chinese restaurants in Tama and Vinton and harbored illegal aliens to work at these restaurants. In addition, they committed health care fraud, laundered money, and evaded paying taxes. They will forfeit over $1.5 million in assets.
Another 2011 case involved the owner of an Iowa roofing company who had harbored and transported an alien. He pled guilty to this offense, along with conspiring with other people to harbor illegal aliens and transport them to work in the U.S.
ICE is behind Operation Predator – the international initiative to arrest child pornographers and rescue their victims. Special agents of ICE generally make several arrests a year in Iowa. In 2013, five men from southern Iowa were found guilty of trading child porn online using peer-to-peer file sharing. They were sentenced to a combined term of nearly 44 years in prison.