The number of illegal immigrants in Kansas was estimated to be 65,000 in 2010. This represented over 2% of an estimated population of over 2.8 million people in the state in 2010. Among the many roles of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is the investigation and prosecution of crimes involving illegal aliens.
There is a persistent problem in Kansas with companies that hire illegal aliens and then do not pay the appropriate taxes for them. ICE agents in Kansas disrupted several such operations in 2103 alone.
In addition, ICE focuses on removing criminal aliens from the U.S. In late 2012, a sweep in the Wichita area identified sixteen criminal aliens and immigration fugitives who were brought to justice.
Becoming an ICE Agent in Kansas
While there a number of different jobs at ICE, most recruits in Kansas seek to become criminal investigators, also known as special agents. There are a number of requirements to become a special agent, including the following:
- Being younger than 37 (This can be waived for veterans.)
- Being a US citizen
- Having one of the following:
- A year of graduate school
- A bachelor’s degree with one of the following conditions:
- Election to a national honor society
- A rank in the top third of the class
- A B in all courses (either overall or in the final two years)
- A B+ in courses for the major (either overall or in the final two years)
Special agent applicants often have law enforcement experience or a background in criminal investigations. Having this type of experience can substitute for part of the educational requirement. Applicants undergo a full background check as part of their rigorous screening.
Once hired, recruits are sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Georgia to start their careers. They spend 22 weeks at this institute and are paid during this time. Their training involves the following:
- Physical conditioning
- Academic coursework
- Training in the use of firearms
Kansas residents who seek more information about how to become an ICE agent should contact the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) for the state. This agent is located in Chicago and can be reached at the following number: 630-574-4600.
ICE Making Arrests in Kansas
Special agents of ICE fight an array of crimes in Kansas. Some of the different types are shown below.
ICE is the lead agency behind Operation Predator—an international initiative that focuses on identifying child pornographers and rescuing their victims. In 2013, ICE agents thwarted a number of such operations in Kansas, including arresting a man who was traveling across state boundaries to have sex with a minor. He received a sentence of almost twenty years in federal prison. Several men in Kansas were identified as producing child pornography and were charged for these crimes.
In September 2013, an eastern Kansas restaurant owner was identified as violating the federal law that requires employers to fill out I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms. ICE special agents determined that he was employing illegal aliens, paying them in cash, and providing housing for them. He faces a potential 10 years in federal prison and a substantial fine.
The owners and managers of a construction company in Kansas City were indicted for money laundering and harboring illegal aliens in April 2013. Both crew leaders and members were illegal aliens, and the members were paid in cash. This gave the company a competitive edge by lowering their operating costs, since they did not pay any of the federal taxes or insurance benefits for these employees.