How to Become an ICE Agent in South Dakota

Because of construction and other labor-intensive work, South Dakota is often a target for illegal immigrants who are searching for jobs offered by employers who are willing to break the law by hiring them. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents work on a daily basis to combat this type of crime as well as others, which are often related to customs violations and child sexual abuse. In fact, in 2013 alone ICE Criminal Investigators secured enough evidence for three Sioux Falls child abuse convictions.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement works with other law enforcement agencies to cast a wide net to ensure criminals are snared, and in South Dakota this includes:

  • South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation
  • Rapid City Police Department
  • IRS Criminal Investigation Division
  • South Dakota Highway Patrol
  • Aberdeen Police Department
  • US Department of Labor


Minimum Requirements for ICE Employment

ICE Agents come from a rich background of education and training. Becoming an ICE Agent involves first meeting some initial requirements. The education requirement is one of these, which says prospective ICE Criminal Investigators must meet one of the following two conditions:

  • A bachelor degree and one additional year of post-graduate study
  • A bachelor degree and one of the following academic distinctions:
    • Graduation in the top one-third of class or academic school program
    • 3.0 cumulative or final two-year GPA
    • 3.5 GPA in major course of study
    • Membership in an intermediate or advanced-level national honors society

There is also a one-year experience requirement dealing with the subjects of criminal investigations and law enforcement, which can be fulfilled at the same time as education requirement by candidates who pursue a course of study in:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Civil Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Forensic Science
  • Police Science
  • Law


Application and Training

Once prospective agents can meet the basic education and experience requirements, they may begin searching for ICE careers via the federal government’s USA Jobs website. Federal law enforcement officers and military veterans can receive preferential consideration, and they do not have to meet the following age requirement among these last minimum prerequisites for application:

  • US citizenship
  • Valid driver’s license
  • No felony convictions
  • Being between the ages of 21-37

Training for ICE careers begins at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Brunswick, Georgia where new hires will receive 22 weeks of in-depth instruction to prepare them for their first assignment as ICE Agents. Topics covered which are particularly pertinent to South Dakota include:

  • Immigration and labor laws
  • Conducting undercover and sting operations
  • Evidence collection
  • US customs laws
  • Child abuse, pornography, and sex trafficking


Recent ICE Missions in South Dakota

There are plenty of secret ICE missions that will never be revealed to the public; however the media may occasionally be privy to high profile operations, and in South Dakota this has recently included:

  • ICE arrests of nine suspects accused of taking advantage of and harboring undocumented immigrants while they worked illegally as part of a Rapid City logging and construction company. ICE Criminal Investigators conducted the operation in close concert with local law enforcement agencies.
  • The sentence of a Sioux Falls man to three life terms based on evidence gathered during an ICE investigation into child sex trafficking. For about a year from 2011 to 2012 the man was found to have trafficked, at times with violence and coercion, various women and underage girls throughout the South Dakota region to participate in the illegal commercial sex industry.
  • $1.2 million recently seized from a Lead man who was convicted of evading federal requirements for currency importation. An ICE investigation discovered that the perpetrator had arranged to receive shipments of Iraqi dinars which he planned to convert to US dollars by buying gold, jewelry, and collectable coins.

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