Chapter 1. Introduction




Endgame is the immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) multi-year strategic enforcement plan.  It is part of a broader planning cycle that, when fully implemented, will integrate strategic and operational planning with the budget building process and performance measurement.  Endgame articulates the DRO mission and vision statement, and will guide the development and execution of DRO operations through a focused set of goals, objectives and strategies.  The plan identifies core detention and removal business functions and key processes within five goal areas to accomplish several short- and long-term objectives.  It emphasizes the execution of key processes within the two core functions, removals and custody management, recognizing they will remain essentially the same once the Program is fully integrated into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).



Endgame is part of a broader planning cycle that, when fully implemented, will integrate strategic and operational planning with the budget building process and performance measurement.



Enforcement Challenge


Recent events and political initiatives have emphasized the significance of DRO’s mission and the critical need to restore some certainly to the removal of aliens found to be removable.    DRO will meet the challenge of this defining moment in our nation’s history, clearly demonstrating our critical role in immigration enforcement and our nation’s domestic security.  This plan will guide our efforts in developing operational plans and resource requirements to achieve our national immigration law enforcement policy aims.  Through cooperative relationships and external stakeholders, we will fulfill the demands of the President, the Congress and the American people.  Building these partnerships is fundamental to the success of this plan and DRO’s mission and will result in improvements that maximize efficiencies within the immigration enforcement process.


Our mission is critical to the immigration enforcement process and provides the final link in securing America’s borders.  Our plans, operations and resource requests will be fully integrated with all other immigration enforcement programs and initiatives.  Initiatives to  improve border security and protect the interior of the United States through an increase in personnel and enhanced information technology, as well as the establishment of the DHS, will require significant increases in detention and removal operations and resources.  Our management and staff will use this plan as a reference tool to develop operations what will be properly and fully aligned with all immigration enforcement operations.  We will follow this plan to ensure that we manage and maintain an effective detention and removal program, and that we continue to execute our part in the overall immigration enforcement process.


On March 1, 2003, DRO officially became part of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the directorate of Border and Transportation Security (BTS) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  This transition brings with it new partners, stakeholders and challenges yet, we must remain diligent in our efforts to provide the entire DRO program with the appropriate tools and resources required to accomplish our mission and daily assignments.  Through this team and our inter-agency and internal partnerships, we will succeed in meeting our national policy mandates.



Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Office of Detention and Removal


Strategic Framework


The Director for Detention and Removal, in conjunction with his staff, has developed a vision statement to guide the efforts of the program for the next ten years.  This ten-year vision is focused on the development of the infrastructure, resources, personnel and leadership necessary to develop, maintain and sustain a program that will accomplish its mission efficiently and effectively throughout the next ten years, and beyond.


U. S. immigration policy remains fluid to reflect the ever-changing global and political environment; however, this ten-year vision will transcend these changes, as it is founded in a mission that reflects the core business of the Detention and Removal program.  The DRO mission is the cornerstone of this vision and this plan.  Over the next ten years, Endgame will lay the groundwork for developing the capacity and capability to remove all removable aliens.  The principles of that foundation are implicit in three overarching strategic themes:


·      Build partnerships with critical stakeholders.


·      Develop a professional workforce and the infrastructure to retain it.


·      Employ information systems and technology.


These three themes influence objectives and strategies across five goal areas.  These five goal areas will guide DRO operations and efforts and support ICE strategic goals.  The relationships between DRO goals and those of ICE and the National Strategy for Homeland Security are depicted in the graphic on the following page and described in more detain in Chapter 3.




Within ten years the Detention and Removal Program will be able to fully meet all of our commitments and mandates from the President, Congress and the American people.


To make this happen, the following will be required.


·      Visionary leadership, at all levels of the organization

·      An effectively trained and educated professional workforce

·      The right levels of the right resources such as personnel, facilities, and support infrastructure

·      Effective, responsive, and accurate command, control, communication, computers and intelligence (C41) systems that truly support our enforcement requirements and improve the way we do business

·      Thoughtful and thorough planning, and effective operational execution




When implemented to its fullest, this plan will serve as the platform from which strategies will be initiated, partnerships will be built, and innovation for continued process improvement will be fostered.  This vision will be realized, and the mission will be accomplished, only through the collective and collaborative efforts of all DRO employee.  DRO employees (including officer, management, and staff) must encourage growth and improvement through the sharing of ideas and the integration of DRO core business functions with key processes, all critical elements of the immigration enforcement program.




In response to national policy, DRO provides the necessary public service of removing unauthorized aliens from the United States DRO is committed to providing this service in a professional, effective and efficient manner while addressing the rights, needs and interests of all its various stakeholders.  DRO’s primary stake holders have been identified and grouped, as depicted on the follow page:





It is only through our combined efforts that we will create the consequences for and deterrence of illegal immigration.



DRO’s primary internal customers are the other enforcement arms within the Department’s Directorate of Border and Transportation Security that includes investigators and intelligence analysts within ICE and inspectors and border patrol agents within the Bureau of Customs and Border Enforcement (CBP).  Other DHS customers include the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC), the Office of International Affairs, and the Bureau of Customs and Immigration Services (CIS).  Through cooperative and concerted efforts, all aspects of the immigration enforcement process will be completed thoroughly and expeditiously.  It is only through our combined efforts that we will create consequences for and deterrence to illegal immigration.  DRO’s service and enforcement partners work diligently to identify, locate, apprehend, process, and remove aliens who violate this nation’s immigration laws.  While inspectors and border patrol agents can remove aliens directly at ports of entry via expedited removal, voluntary return or other methods, that is not a core function of their mission.  “Removing all removable aliens” is, in fact, DRO’s mission.  All of the activity needed to carry out that mission is the service we provide our partners.  Illegal aliens, unaccompanied juveniles, asylum seekers, refugees, and countless other apprehended aliens cannot all be immediately removed from the country, nor can they all be released into the American community.  For that reason, DRO resources and expertise are required to transport these aliens from point to point, to manage them in custody while their cases are being processed and, finally, to remove them from the country when order to do so.  The effects of other programs’ enforcement efforts are diminished and their operation are constrained if DRO cannot execute its mission efficiently and effectively.  Therefore, DRO must immerse itself within the immigration enforcement element of DHS and establish a significant and collaborative presence with its service and enforcement partners and stakeholders.


The effects of other programs’ enforcement efforts are diminished and their operations are constrained if DRO cannot execute it’s mission efficiently and effectively.


DRO must maintain cooperative relationships with each one of its stakeholders to ensure that enforcement operations are conducted as efficiently and professionally as possible and that all stakeholders’ legitimate interests are addressed.  DRO and the private sector rely on each other for the services each demands and has to offer.  While the private sector relies on DRO to provide national and international transportation, or to house and feed detainees, DRO relies on those same services to execute its mission when they are not available through normal government channels.  DRO must also maintain similar cooperative relationships with foreign governments in order to realize and effect removal.  Strong partnerships and cooperative coordination between DRO, the DHS Office of International Affairs, the Department of State (DOS), foreign governments, and the alien will facilitate a smoother and trouble-free transfer from the United States to the alien’s home of record.


While the alien will not necessarily perceive any “benefit” from DRO services, he will be provided with safe and secure confinement in detention facilities, as well as transportation from ports and points along the border to other detention facilities or his country of origin.  These services will be provided in a professional manner; the alien will be detained in safe, secure and humane environments; he will be transported safely; and his movement will be fully coordinated with his family, legal representative, and country of origin, whenever appropriate.  For these reasons, the alien is as important a stakeholder as any of the others mentioned.


This strategic plan and the vision statement have been developed in consideration of the concerns of each of our stakeholders.  It is difficult to prioritize DRO efforts to satisfy one stakeholders needs over that of another; yet the need to satisfy the American constituency, protect their freedoms and secure their safety remains the overarching and desired outcome.



Endgame supports national, DHS, and ICE-wide policy and initiatives, while satisfying the inherent needs of both its internal and external stakeholders.



Plan Development


On August 3, 1993 the President signed into law the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA).  Simply stated, the law implements a strategic planning and performance-measuring process to hold government agencies accountable to the American people for the money they spend.  To that end, the law requires government agencies to develop strategic plans with measurable program goals, and to report annually to Congress and the American public on their progress.  The Office of Detention and Removal now releases its supporting strategic plan, Endgame, covering the time frame 2003-2012.  The plan supports national, DHS, and ICE-wide policy and initiatives, while satisfying the inherent needs of both its internal and external stakeholders.


The DRO strategic plan and planning process is the culmination of a nine-month collaborative effort of the Strategic Plan Working Group (SPWG).  The SPWG, consisting of 23 individuals from HQDRO, the field, and other HQ staff elements, was chartered in September 2001.  The group’s immediate task was to develop performance measures to be incorporated into the existing suite of performance indicators for inclusion in the fiscal year 2003 Annual Performance Plan.  Upon completion of that immediate assignment, the group began a systematic, academic approach to developing a strategic plan that would serve as the cornerstone for development of the fiscal year 2004 (and future) budgets.  The group developed the mission statement and five goal areas in which to focus its operational efforts.  Through an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), the SPWG identified a set of strategic challenges, key success factors, and executable objectives and strategies to address and/or overcome its challenges.  The SPWG resolved that all of its key processes (its routine and day-to-day activities) could be grouped into two core business functions:  1) removals; and 2) custody management.  In order to justify the need and significance of each strategy and objective, the group developed a suite of indicators to measure performance in each goal are throughout  the year.  Upon release of the plan, the group will transition to a maintenance mode and will meet quarterly to review the progress of this plan and update it accordingly.


Plan Structure


Endgame will shape the future of the DRO organization and will guide the program through the current sea of change.  The strategic plan is rooted in the overarching vision, mission, and goals that will serve as constants for the next ten years.  In its four chapters, this plan lays out a set of strategic initiatives DRO will undertake to accomplish its mission, achieve its goals, overcome its challenges and satisfy its stakeholders.  The plan does not, however, focus on the implementation of specific processes in conducting DRO business.  Detailed processes and operations will be addressed in a supporting five-year business plan from which the budget, the annual performance plan and the annual implementation plan will be built.  These appendices support this strategic plan and will be updated on a recurring basis. 


In its four chapters, this plan lays out a set of strategic initiatives DRO will undertake to accomplish its mission, achieve its goals, overcome its challenges, and satisfy its stakeholders.




This Strategic Plan is effective upon release, and will be maintained by SPWG throughout the year.  Review of the plan and its critical elements will be conducted in conjunction with budget calls, mid-year reviews, and the development of Annual Performance Plans and Implementation Plans.