WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security has issued a new memo to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) employees outlining the civil immigration enforcement priorities of I.C.E. as they relate to apprehension, detention and removal of illegal immigrants.

The priorities, with the first being the highest priority and the second and third constituting equal but lower priorities include: 1.) Aliens who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety; 2.) Recent illegal entrants; and 3.) Aliens who are fugitives or otherwise obstruct immigration controls.

Remaining in effect are the guidance notes that the National Fugitive Operations Program: Priorities, Goals and Expectations, issued on December 8, 2009, and they shall continue to apply for all purposes, including how Fugitive Operation Teams allocate resources among fugitive aliens, previously removed aliens and criminal aliens.

Apprehension, detention and removal of other aliens unlawfully in the United States are also addressed by the memo.

The memo instructs I.C.E. to follow the priorities set forth in this memorandum immediately and to develop appropriate measures and methods for recording and evaluating their effectiveness in implementing the priorities.

To read the entire memo, visit http://www.ice.gov/doclib/civil_enforcement_priorities.pdf.