A growing number of disgruntled U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents – concerned about mismanagement, financial problems, and low morale – say ICE should be merged into its sister Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency to ensure its ability to fight terrorism, reports the Washington Times. “We can’t continue in our current state, or we will implode,” said a former U.S. Customs Service agent. “Every week, senior agents are retiring. No one wants anything to do with ICE,” said a supervisor who heads an ICE field office. “This is a huge debacle for the national security of the country.”
As the Homeland Security Department approaches its second anniversary, officials inside the department and congressional investigators said preliminary discussions have taken place on a merger of ICE and Customs and Border Protection, or the assignment of ICE as a separate Office of Investigations within CBP. Those discussions coincide with the release this month of a report by the Heritage Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies that urged a “significant reorganization” of Homeland Security to consolidate and strengthen agencies with overlapping missions. The report said the decision to put CBP and ICE into separate agencies could be compared to a move by the New York Police Department to house uniformed “beat cops” in one agency and detectives in another.