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Compliance Enforcement Investigations Handbook, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 2010

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Department of Homeland Security

Office of Investigations

Compliance Enforcement
Investigations
Handbook
OI HB 10-01
January 25, 2010

OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Foreword
The Compliance Enforcement Invest igat ions Handbook provides a si ngle source
of national policies, procedures, responsibili ties, gui deli nes, and controls to be
followed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of
Investigations (01) Special Agents when conduct ing investigations relat ing to
compliance enforcement. This Handbook contains instructions and guidance to
help ensure uniformity and operational consistency among all 0 1 field offices.
Ove rsight over the national Compliance En fo rcement Program resides with the
Uni t Chief: Compliance Enforcement Uni t, National Security Investigations
Division, 0 1.
The Co mpliance Enforcement Handbook is the orig inating and estab li sh ing
Handbook on Compliance Enforcement. (See Appendix A for a detailed li st of
the documents superseded by this Handbook.)
The Com pl iance Enforcement Investigations Handbook is an internal policy of 01
and docs not confer any right or benefit on any pri vate person or party. If
disclosure of this Handbook or any portion of it is demanded in any judicial or
admi nistrative proceed ing, the 0 1 Informat ion Disclosure Unit, Mi ss ion Support
Di vision, and the appropriate ICE Counsel andlor U.S. Attorney should be
consulted so that appropriate measures can be taken to invoke privi leges against
disclosure. This Handbook contains informat ion whic h may be exempt from
discl osure to the pub li c. Any further request fo r disclosure o f this Hand book or
information contained herein should be re ferred to the 01 Info rmation Disclosure
Uni t.
The 0 1 Policy Unit is responsible for coordilHlIing Ihe dcvc lopme11l and issuance
of 0 1 policy. All suggested changes or updates to thi s Handbook should bc
submitted to the Of Policy Unit whic h will coordinale all nceded revisions with
the Co mpliance Enforcement Unit.

D· ec tor, Office of In vestigations

COJllp/UIIICf! f:llj orCt' mr lll 1""f!,tIIKWW"S I/""t/book

OFF1ClM. USE ONl. Y

COMPLIANCE ENFORCEMENT
INVESTIGATIONS
HANDBOOK
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE........................................................................................1
Chapter 2. BACKGROUND .....................................................................................................1
Chapter 3. DEFINITIONS........................................................................................................2
• 3.1
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3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8
3.9
3.10
3.11
3.12
3.13
3.14
3.15
3.16
3.17
3.18
3.19
3.20
3.21
3.22
3.23
3.24
3.25
3.26
3.27
3.28
3.29

Advanced Visual Abstracted Links and Name Collection Handler
Engine .......................................................................................................2
Alien Change of Address Request Database .............................................3
Alien Flight Student Program....................................................................4
Alternate Responsible Official ..................................................................4
Arrival Departure Information System......................................................4
Automated Biometric Identification System .............................................4
Central Index System ................................................................................4
Computer Linked Automated Information Management System .............4
Consular Consolidated Database...............................................................4
Deportable Alien Control System (Historical) ..........................................5
Designated School Official .......................................................................5
Enforcement Case Tracking System Database..........................................5
ENFORCE Alien Removal Module ..........................................................5
Enforcement Integrated Database..............................................................5
Fingerprint Identification Number ............................................................5
I-94 Subject Query in TECS .....................................................................6
LeadTrac Database ....................................................................................6
National Security Entry-Exit Registration System....................................6
Principal Designated School Official ........................................................6
Refugee and Asylee Processing System....................................................6
Responsible Official ..................................................................................6
Secondary Inspection Tool........................................................................6
Significant Event Notification...................................................................7
Significant Incident Report .......................................................................7
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System ..................................7
Student and Exchange Visitor Program ....................................................7
TECS .........................................................................................................7
United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology ..........7
Web-Based Commercial Databases ..........................................................7

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Chapter 4. RESPONSIBILITIES.............................................................................................8
•
•
•
•

4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4

Director, Office of Investigations..............................................................8
Unit Chief, Compliance Enforcement Unit ...............................................8
Special Agents in Charge ..........................................................................9
Special Agents...........................................................................................9

Chapter 5. AUTHORITIES ......................................................................................................9
• 5.1
• 5.2
• 5.3

NSEERS ....................................................................................................9
SEVIS......................................................................................................10
US-VISIT ................................................................................................11

Chapter 6. COMPLIANCE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS AND PROCEDURES .....11
•
•
•
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•
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6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
6.7
6.8
6.9
6.10

NSEERS ..................................................................................................11
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System ................................15
US-VISIT ................................................................................................18
Automated Biometric Identification System ...........................................20
International Criminal Police Organization ............................................20
Visa Revocation ......................................................................................21
Retroactive Visa Revocation Request .....................................................22
Lost and Stolen Passport .........................................................................22
Alien Flight Student Program..................................................................23
Visa Waiver Enforcement Program ........................................................23

Chapter 7. COMPLIANCE ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATIONS ................................24
•
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7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.5
7.6
7.7
7.8
7.9
7.10
7.11

Violator Identification ..............................................................................24
Database Analysis ....................................................................................24
LeadTrac Database ...................................................................................25
Investigative Lead Referral ......................................................................25
Case Categories ........................................................................................25
Collateral Request Assignment ................................................................25
Timely Assignment and Reporting Requirement.....................................26
Database Review ......................................................................................26
Field Investigation and Interview.............................................................26
Removability Determination ....................................................................28
Database Reporting/Management Notification ........................................29

APPENDIX
Appendix A

Acronyms ............................................................................................... A-i

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COMPLIANCE ENFORCEMENT
INVESTIGATIONS
HANDBOOK
Chapter 1. PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The Compliance Enforcement Investigations Handbook establishes policy and procedures
for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations (OI)
Special Agents (SAs) when they conduct investigations relating to compliance
enforcement.
Specifically, this Handbook:
1)

Explains the components of the Compliance Enforcement Program;

2)

Provides information related to the research, identification, and
assignment of immigration status violator investigations;

3)

Explains specified programs established to facilitate entry, tracks
nonimmigrant status changes, and identifies nonimmigrants who fail to
comply with immigration laws and regulations; and

4)

Establishes uniform standards and procedures for accurate case
development and the coordination of investigative lead referrals, as well as
management accountability and proper tracking and control.

Chapter 2. BACKGROUND
Prior to the events of September 11, 2001, there was no effective system in place to
accurately monitor the status of foreign students and other visitors in the United States,
with disastrous consequences.
The 9/11 Commission wrote in its report: “We also found that had the immigration
system set a higher bar for determining whether individuals are who or what they claim
to be – and ensuring routine consequences for violations – it could potentially have
excluded, removed, or come into further contact with several hijackers who did not
appear to meet the terms of admitting short-term visitors.” (The 9/11 Commission
Report, July 22, 2004, page 401.)
In June 2003, OI established the Compliance Enforcement Unit (CEU) within the
National Security Investigations Division, the first national program dedicated to the
enforcement of nonimmigrant visa violations. The pursuit of these visa violators
provides significant support to the “disrupt and deter” counterterrorism strategy of the
United States.
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Chapter 3. DEFINITIONS
The following definitions are provided for the purposes of this Handbook:
3.1

Advanced Visual Abstracted Links and Name Collection Handler Engine
A.

AVALANCHE
The Advanced Visual Abstracted Links and Name Collection Handler
Engine (AVALANCHE) is a database developed by the ICE Office of
Intelligence that enables users to perform key-word and biographic searches
of 15 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) systems simultaneously.

B.

DHS systems that can be accessed through AVALANCHE
The 15 DHS systems that can be accessed through AVALANCHE searches
are as follows:
1)

Central Index System (CIS) Computer Linked Automated Information
Management System (CLAIMS) (Partial): The U.S. Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center CLAIMS database.
(Note: This is not to be confused with a search of the CIS mainframe
system.)

2)

Criminal Investigative Reporting System (CIRS) Subject Data:
Subject data from archived CIRS databases; the legacy Immigration
and Naturalization Service (INS) Investigations case management
system.

3)

Deportable Alien Control System (DACS) (Partial): All historical
DACS cases as of April 14, 2005. (Note: The Enforcement Case
Tracking System (ENFORCE) Alien Removal Module (EARM)
replaced DACS in August 2008.)

4)

Documents: Searches against ICE, U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP), and DHS unclassified intelligence reports. Access
to these reports is also available from the DHS Operations Intelligence
Fusion website (https://intel.ice.dhs.gov).

5)

Enforcement Integrated Database (EID): Searches civilian records
from EID. EID is the data warehouse for information entered in
ENFORCE and the National Security Entry/Exit Registration System
(NSEERS). This data is updated on a daily basis.

6)

LeadTrac: Data from the LeadTrac system of visa overstays and
absconders. LeadTrac is an OI database used by CEU that contains

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violator leads from NSEERS, Student and Exchange Visitor
Information System (SEVIS), and the United States Visitor and
Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT). This data is
updated on a weekly basis.
7)

National Targeting Center (NTC): Searches names of interest against
CBP’s NTC daily operation reports.

8)

No Fly List: Searches names on the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) No Fly List. Subjects on the No Fly List have
been deemed a threat to commercial aviation. This data is updated on
a daily basis.

9)

Selectee List: Searches names on the TSA Selectee List. Subjects on
the Selectee List have been deemed potential threats to commercial
aviation. This data is updated on a daily basis.

10) SEVIS Exchange Visitor: Searches information within the SEVIS
database of persons with exchange visitor visas.
11) SEVIS Exchange Visitor Dependents: Searches against information
on dependents of exchange visitors found in SEVIS.
12) SEVIS Students: Searches the SEVIS database.
13) SEVIS Student Dependents: Searches dependents of students
available in SEVIS.
14) Social Security Non-Authorized Worker Data: Searches information
on individuals known to the Social Security Administration as
authorized to work only with approval from USCIS.
15) Students and Schools (STSC): Searches student names from an
archive of the STSC database, which preceded SEVIS. This data is
not updated.
AVALANCHE is located on the DHS Operations Intelligence Fusion website and is
available to all SAs. The web address is https://intel.ice.dhs.gov.
3.2

Alien Change of Address Request Database

The Alien Change of Address Request (Form AR-11) database is available through
Teleview and contains change of address information filed by aliens via Form AR-11.

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3.3

Alien Flight Student Program

The Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) is the TSA program utilized to vet and
approve individuals for flight training. Section 113 of the U.S. Air Transportation
Security Act amended Title 49, United States Code (U.S.C.) by adding a new section:
Section 44939 (the authority granted by Section 113 of the act is codified as 49 U.S.C. §
44939).
3.4

Alternate Responsible Official

The Alternate Responsible Official (ARO) is the official designated by the exchange
visitor program to assist the Responsible Official (RO) in performing responsibilities and
duties pertaining to SEVIS.
3.5

Arrival Departure Information System

The Arrival Departure Information System (ADIS) generates reports by gathering and
matching arrival and departure information. Information contained within ADIS is
submitted to SEVIS, which notifies the appropriate school that the foreign student
entered the United States and should report to school within 30 days.
3.6

Automated Biometric Identification System

The Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) is a part of the DHS biometric
database. It collects biometric, biographic, and encounter-related data for operations
environments. Biometric data includes, but is not limited to, fingerprints and
photographs. Biographical data includes, but is not limited to, name, date of birth,
nationality, and other personal descriptive data.
3.7

Central Index System

CIS is a master records management system that displays biographical information on
certain classes of aliens and certain U.S. citizens. CIS contains information on the status
of an alien, as well as the physical location of the alien’s file (A-file).
3.8

Computer Linked Automated Information Management System

CLAIMS contains information on aliens who have filed applications for immigration
benefits. It supports the processing and maintenance of applications and petitions for
immigration benefits by providing an information systems infrastructure.
3.9

Consular Consolidated Database

The Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) is a U.S. Department of State (DOS),
Bureau of Consular Affairs, database that contains information on all immigrant and
nonimmigrant visa applications submitted to U.S. consulate offices.

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3.10

Deportable Alien Control System (Historical)

DACS was a mainframe system that contained information regarding the status of illegal
aliens under removal proceedings, including detention status and location. DACS also
contained information regarding the alien’s entry and departure status until the alien was
deported or relief was granted. (Note: As stated in Section 3.1(B)(3) above, EARM
replaced DACS in August 2008.)
3.11

Designated School Official

The Designated School Official (DSO) is the official designated by the academic
institution to assist the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) in performing
responsibilities and duties pertaining to SEVIS.
3.12

Enforcement Case Tracking System Database

ENFORCE is an event-based case management system that documents, tracks, and
manages the reporting of enforcement cases. Its functions include subject processing,
biometric identification, allegations and charges, preparation and printing of appropriate
forms, data repository, and interface with the national database of enforcement events.
ENFORCE supports alien apprehension processing for both “Voluntary Return” and
“Notice to Appear” actions. ENFORCE also contains the NSEERS module through
which all NSEERS registrations are performed. ENFORCE is the principal user interface
with EID.
3.13

ENFORCE Alien Removal Module

EARM is a web-based application that supports case management activities for the ICE
Office of Detention and Removal Operations. EARM is integrated with other
enforcement applications through the use of EID which makes it possible to collect,
track, manage, and store data in a secure centralized location. EARM is ICE’s
replacement for DACS, the legacy INS application, and is the official system of record
for removal operations.
3.14

Enforcement Integrated Database

EID is the data warehouse of information entered in ENFORCE and is the DHS common
database repository for enforcement applications.
3.15

Fingerprint Identification Number

The Fingerprint Identification Number (FIN) is the primary unique subject fingerprint
reference used by DHS. FIN is generated by IDENT and US-VISIT.

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3.16

I-94 Subject Query in TECS

The I-94 Subject Query (SQ 94) in TECS provides the user with the ability to query for
information regarding the entry of a nonimmigrant and includes information on entry
classification, intended address, and departure.
(Note: TECS is the former acronym of the Treasury Enforcement Communications
System; it is now used as a stand-alone name.)
3.17

LeadTrac Database

The LeadTrac database is a stand-alone compliance enforcement database utilized to
store, track, and manage nonimmigrant status violator information for use in field
investigations.
3.18

National Security Entry-Exit Registration System

NSEERS provides detailed information about a nonimmigrant, including background,
purpose of the nonimmigrant’s visit to the United States, and departure confirmation.
3.19

Principal Designated School Official

The PDSO is the principal SEVIS point of contact for ICE at academic institutions, as
well as the official designated by the academic institution to perform the responsibilities
and duties pertaining to SEVIS.
3.20

Refugee and Asylee Processing System

The Refugee and Asylee Processing System (RAPS) is a database that contains
information related to asylum applicants and related asylee casework. The database
maintains updates regarding application status and progress.
3.21

Responsible Official

The RO is the primary SEVIS point of contact for ICE and DOS for exchange visitor
programs, as well as the official designated by the exchange visitor program to perform
the responsibilities and duties pertaining to SEVIS.
3.22

Secondary Inspection Tool

The Secondary Inspection Tool (SIT) is a web-based tool that functions within a suite of
integrated applications. SIT relies on external data and applications to help identify
comprehensively a subject’s identity, to corroborate the subject’s identity, and to assess
the risk that the subject’s presence in the United States may pose. While SIT does not
gather biographical and biometric data, it is the conduit for the use of that information to

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help confirm a subject’s identity. Exit information is being captured in SIT at 12 airports
and two seaports.
3.23

Significant Event Notification

The Significant Event Notification (SEN) system is a transactional Intranet application
and reporting system designed to facilitate the seamless entry, query, and modification of
reports such as the Significant Incident Reports (SIRs).
3.24

Significant Incident Report

The SIR is a report submitted through the SEN system and is the vehicle for reporting
high-interest incidents, significant events, and other emerging or sensitive matters.
3.25

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System

SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on
nonimmigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents
(F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit mandatory
information and event notifications, via the Internet, to DHS and DOS throughout a
student’s or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States.
3.26

Student and Exchange Visitor Program

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is the ICE program that administers
SEVIS and conducts outreach with the educational community. SEVP also approves
schools for certification to enroll F and M nonimmigrant students and withdraws such
certification when the school is determined to be no longer eligible.
3.27

TECS

TECS is an automated enforcement and inspection system designed to support DHS and
other federal users.
3.28

United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology

US-VISIT is part of a continuum of biometrically-enhanced security measures that begin
outside U.S. borders and continue through a visitor’s arrival in, and departure from, the
United States. Registration in US-VISIT currently applies to all visitors (with limited
exemptions) entering the United States, regardless of country of origin or whether they
are traveling on a visa by air, sea, or land.
3.29

Web-Based Commercial Databases

Web-based commercial databases, such as Accurint, AutoTrack XP, and the
Consolidated Lead Evaluation and Reporting database, store millions of public source

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records such as state and local government records, information from public utilities,
driver’s license and vehicle registration records. These commercial databases are
available to the U.S. Government and the public sector, and special access to the
information is available to law enforcement.

Chapter 4. RESPONSIBILITIES
4.1

Director, Office of Investigations

The Director of OI has the responsibility for the oversight and implementation of the
policies and procedures set forth in this Handbook.
4.2

Unit Chief, Compliance Enforcement Unit
A.

Responsibilities of the Unit Chief, CEU
The Unit Chief, CEU, is responsible for the implementation of the policies
and procedures set forth in this Handbook. The Unit Chief, CEU, is also
responsible for coordinating with OI Headquarters (HQ) management on all
aspects of the Compliance Enforcement Program, including, but not limited
to, operational, investigative, policy, personnel, budget, and logistical issues.

B.

Delegation of Authority to the Unit Chief, CEU
The following authorities established by Title 8, Code of Federal
Regulations (C.F.R.), Part 264.1(f), as amended by 68 Federal Register (FR)
67578 (Dec. 22, 2003) (see Note below) are delegated to the Unit Chief,
CEU:
1) The authority to issue notice to an alien of NSEERS registration or reregistration interview requirements.
2) The authority, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the
availability of appropriations, to provide administrative services, funds,
facilities, staff and other support services as may be necessary for the
performance of functions as set forth in 8 C.F.R. § 264.1(f).
3) The authority to monitor department compliance with policies and
recommendations of the Assistant Secretary of ICE as set forth in 8
C.F.R. § 264.1(f).
4) The authority to carry out such acts on behalf of the Assistant Secretary
of ICE that are necessary to perform the duties and responsibilities
entailed in exercising said authority.

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These authorities may not be redelegated.
(Note: DHS’ interim rule, 68 FR 67578, suspended both the automatic
annual and 30-day re-registration requirements. Aliens who previously
registered at a port of entry at the time of admission or as part of a domestic
call-in program continued to have an obligation to register their departure.
NSEERS registered aliens remained subject to continuing registration
interviews at the discretion of the Assistant Secretary of ICE or designee.)
4.3

Special Agents in Charge

OI Special Agents in Charge (SACs) are responsible for implementing the provisions of
this Handbook within their area of responsibility (AOR).
4.4

Special Agents

OI SAs are responsible for complying with the provisions of this Handbook.

Chapter 5. AUTHORITIES
5.1

NSEERS
A.

8 C.F.R. Part 214.1(f), Registration and false information.
Nonimmigrant aliens’ admission and continued stay in the United States are
conditioned on compliance with any registration, fingerprinting, and
photographing requirements upon arrival in the United States as described in
section 264.1(f) of the regulations.

B.

8 C.F.R. § 264.1(f), Registration, fingerprinting, and photographing of
certain nonimmigrant aliens.
Nonimmigrants may be required to register, submit fingerprints, and be
photographed upon arrival to the United States if they are, or are believed to
be, citizens or nationals of a designated country, or are believed to meet
designated criteria. (Paragraph (f) was revised effective September 11,
2002, through notice in the Federal Register, 67 FR 52584.)
(Note: DHS’ final rule, 67 FR 52584, originally established the NSEERS
program, imposing the 30-day and annual special registration requirements
for aliens coming from certain designated countries.)

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5.2

SEVIS
A.

Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996,
Section 641
Required the creation of a program to collect student and exchange visitor
information and to monitor student and exchange visitors.

B.

8 U.S.C. § 1372, Program to collect information relating to nonimmigrant
foreign students and other exchange program participants
8 U.S.C. § 1372 is the statutory authority for SEVIS.

C.

8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f),(m), and (j)
8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f),(m), and (j) set forth the rules for admission, extension,
and maintenance of status for F, M, and J visa holders, respectively.

D.

8 C.F.R. § 214.3
8 C.F.R. § 214.3 sets rules for approval of schools seeking to enroll F and M
nonimmigrant students, and for compliance post-approval.

E.

8 C.F.R. § 214.4
8 C.F.R. § 214.4 sets rules for denial of certifications, denial of
recertification, and withdrawal of SEVP certification.

F.

22 C.F.R. § 62, Exchange Visitor Program
22 C.F.R. § 62 sets rules for the administration of the exchange visitor
program (J visa holders – oversight for the program falls under DOS).

G.

The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools
Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of
2001, Section 416
The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001 mandates the full implementation and
expansion of SEVIS as set forth in 8 U.S.C. § 1372.

H.

The Homeland Security Act of 2002
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 delegated responsibility of SEVIS to
the Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Border Security (BBS). Pursuant to
section 1502 of the Homeland Security Act, the BBS was renamed the
Bureau of “Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)” through the

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President’s “Reorganization Plan Modification for the Department of
Homeland Security,” effective March 1, 2003.
I.

The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002
The Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (EBSVERA) of
2002 sets specific time frames for the implementation of SEVIS, strengthens
the SEVIS requirements, and sets standards for the certification of schools
and the designation of exchange visitor programs. The EBSVERA of 2002
also provides for DHS to recertify schools approved for attendance by F
and/or M students every 2 years to confirm the schools’ continuing
eligibility for certification and compliance with recordkeeping and reporting
requirements.

5.3

US-VISIT

DHS and DOS instituted US-VISIT (see Section 3.28) as part of their authority to ensure
eligibility of nonimmigrants for immigration benefits.

Chapter 6. COMPLIANCE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS AND PROCEDURES
6.1

NSEERS

In September 2002, as the result of a Congressional mandate, the Department of Justice
(DOJ) developed and implemented NSEERS. Also known as “special registration,”
NSEERS verifies compliance with U.S. immigration laws through the implementation of
a national registry for the entry and exit of nonimmigrants. NSEERS provides detailed
information about the nonimmigrant, including background, purpose of an individual’s
visit to the United States, and departure confirmation.
A.

Port of Entry Encounter
There are four different methods by which a nonimmigrant is identified as
being subject to special registration at a port of entry. The four methods are:
1) identification of citizens or nationals of countries designated through
publication of a notice in the Federal Register;
2) notification through the Interagency Border Inspection System;
3) identification of pre-existing criteria as defined by the Secretary of
Homeland Security; and
4) exercise of officer discretion.

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If a nonimmigrant is identified as being subject to NSEERS registration, he
or she is referred to secondary inspection for enrollment in NSEERS.
During the secondary inspection process, the nonimmigrant is questioned
under oath by CBP regarding employment, education, intended address in
the United States, points of contact, and credit card information.
Additionally, a digital photograph is captured and biometric information is
obtained from the nonimmigrant’s two index fingers. The fingerprints are
compared to fingerprints stored in law enforcement databases, which
include convicted aggravated felons, known or suspected terrorists, criminal
wants and warrants, and criminal alien recidivists. The biometric and
biographic data are stored in EID and are accessible through the NSEERS
module in ENFORCE.
Absent any derogatory information, the nonimmigrant will be enrolled in
NSEERS and will be admitted to the United States. The registrant will be
provided with “walk-away materials” which direct the registrant to report to
a designated port of departure for a departure interview on the date he or she
intends to depart from the United States.
B.

Domestic Call-In Registration
The domestic call-in registration period began on November 15, 2002, and
ended on April 25, 2003. Four call-in notices were announced through
publication in the Federal Register. The call-in notices defined the countries
and conditions under which certain nonimmigrants were required to register.
Male citizens and/or nationals 16 years of age or older from Afghanistan,
Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan,
Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar,
Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Unites Arab Emirates, and
Yemen who were admitted as nonimmigrants on or before September 30,
2002, and who remained in the United States after the termination of the
specified call-in period were directed to register for NSEERS. The notices
also defined the effective period for call-in registration. Ultimately, four
additional notices were published in the Federal Register reopening and/or
extending the call-in period.
The nonimmigrant would have been interviewed, under oath, to obtain the
information needed to complete the registration data fields in the NSEERS
module in ENFORCE. These data fields include simple but detailed
biographic information relating to each registrant. The Federal Register
Notice required call-in registrants to bring documentation relating to their
stay in the United States, such as travel documents and proof of where they
were staying.

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C.

Amendment of NSEERS Regulation Requiring 30-Day and Annual
Interview
On December 2, 2003, an interim rule published in the Federal Register
became effective that substantially modified 8 C.F.R. § 264.1(f), the section
that authorizes NSEERS. The rule suspended the automatic 30-day and
annual re-registration requirements and provided DHS with greater
flexibility for notifying aliens of future registration requirements. DHS
retains the authority to call in an NSEERS-registered alien for a compliance
interview. All NSEERS-registered aliens, with the exception of crewmen,
are required to register their departure at a designated port.
An alien who willfully failed to appear for the call-in registration and/or
comply with the applicable special registration requirements after appearing
for the call-in is deportable under section 237(a)(1)(C)(i) of the Immigration
and Nationality Act (INA) for failure to maintain nonimmigrant status. In
addition, an alien who failed to appear for the call-in registration prescribed
by the Federal Register Notice is deportable pursuant to section
237(a)(3)(A) of the INA. An alien who has been registered in NSEERS and
fails (without good cause) to comply with the departure registration
requirement is subject to a presumption of future inadmissibility to the
United States under section 212(a)(3)(A)(ii) of the INA.

D.

Departure
NSEERS registrants are required to depart from the United States at
designated ports of departure. Prior to departure, the registrants must submit
to a departure interview conducted by a CBP Officer. The registrant’s
identity is confirmed through biometrics, and the registrant is required to
present evidence that the alien will depart on that date. Failure to register a
departure could result in the alien being found inadmissible at the next
application for admission to the United States.

E.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Referrals
Aliens subject to NSEERS registration and applying for an immigration
benefit must provide USCIS satisfactory evidence of NSEERS compliance
or qualification for exemption. If the alien does not satisfy USCIS
standards, the alien will be referred to ICE for an interview. ICE has the
responsibility for making the final determination of whether the alien is
subject to NSEERS and whether or not the failure to register was willful or
not reasonably excusable. (See the memorandum entitled, “NSEERS
Referrals from Citizenship and Immigration Services,” signed by John P.
Clark, Director of OI (April 22, 2004).)

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F.

Special Registration Interview
A Special Registration Interview is for individuals who appear to be
complying with the terms of their admission, but have been determined that
a special registration interview is warranted. NSEERS registrants identified
as requiring such an interview will be sent a Notice of Special Registration
Interview by the Unit Chief, CEU. Special Registration Interviews are
based on specific factors indicating that the individual requires additional
scrutiny and should be conducted accordingly. These interviews allow
interaction with individuals from special interest countries, some of which
are areas where terrorist groups are known to recruit and operate. Also, the
potential for community outreach, intelligence, and/or source recruitment
should not be overlooked.
Prior to the interview, the alien’s identity should be confirmed by
conducting a Special Alien Registration search in IDENT/ENFORCE. After
the initial interview, if it is determined that the individual has maintained
status and no additional derogatory information is discovered, the
individual’s NSEERS record must be updated. Investigative Assistants are
authorized to complete the process of updating NSEERS records. The
location and date of the special registration should be entered in the
“Interview” screen, and additional comments may be entered as a narrative
on the biographical screen. A properly completed interview disposition in
NSEERS is essential for the accurate capture of statistics related to the
Special Registration program.
A Notice to Appear (NTA) (DHS Form I-862) should be issued if evidence
is uncovered during the interview which would indicate that the individual
violated the terms of admission. If an NTA is issued, the decision to issue a
warrant of arrest or to set bond conditions shall be determined utilizing the
same local office criteria as is used for other immigration violators. If a
national security charge under either INA § 212(a)(3) or 237(a)(4) seems
applicable, a local Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC) must be contacted so
that the National Security Law Division (NSLD) in the Office of the
Principal Legal Advisor can be consulted in the matter. Similarly, if a
national security bar under 212(a)(3) or 237(a)(4) seems applicable, SAs
should make every effort to coordinate matters with the local OCC so that
NSLD may be consulted if necessary.

G.

CEU NSEERS Enforcement Process
CEU receives a weekly list of nonimmigrants who were enrolled upon entry
and who do not have a registered departure, indicating that they potentially
overstayed their period of admission. The information is reviewed by CEU
to determine if any individuals are in violation of their status and are still

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present in the United States. Viable leads are referred to OI field offices for
enforcement action.
SAs are reminded that the decision of whether an alien’s failure to register was not
willful or was reasonably excusable must be made with supervisory concurrence.
6.2

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System

SEVIS provides ICE and educational institutions with detailed information regarding
nonimmigrant entry into the United States, the arrival at the designated educational
institution, and the registration of the nonimmigrant for the intended program.
Additionally, SEVIS is continually updated by the DSO who is responsible for
monitoring the status of nonimmigrants as they progress through their course of study.
CEU extracts from SEVIS a weekly list of nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors
who have been terminated (i.e., failure to enroll, unauthorized early withdrawal, failure to
maintain full course load, etc.). However, not all terminated records are for adverse
reasons; therefore, a few termination reasons (such as change of status) are excluded from
further review. This information, as well as the nonimmigrant’s potential threat to
national security or public safety, is incorporated into the lead generation process.
A.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program
SEVP is responsible for the physical maintenance of SEVIS, the
coordination of policy and regulations concerning foreign students, and
outreach and liaison with the academic community. CEU works closely
with SEVP to establish policy and guidance related to ICE enforcement
matters. SEVP maintains information on schools that apply for certification
and are currently certified by SEVP. This information includes the Petition
for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student (ICE
Form I-17) and supporting documentation. Accordingly, SEVP can be a
valuable investigative resource, especially in cases where an academic
institution is engaged in criminal activity such as visa fraud or alien
smuggling. Any requests for information or assistance from SEVP will be
coordinated through the CEU SEVIS Program Manager.

B.

Certification/Recertification of Schools
All academic institutions must be certified by SEVP in order to access
SEVIS and issue the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F1 or M1
Student Status (ICE Forms I-20 A-B and I-20 M-N). Additionally, SEVPcertified institutions must recertify biannually. CEU assists SEVP in the
review process to approve academic institutions for certification and
recertification. This review includes an investigation into reports of
suspected illegal activity, an assessment of any regulatory non-compliance,
and consideration of a school’s level of cooperation with field agents. CEU

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also conducts a review of the DSOs to ensure that they meet the eligibility
requirements to access SEVIS as set forth by regulations.
C.

Procedure for Obtaining Information from SEVP-Certified Schools
ICE’s requests for information from schools for SEVP enforcement
purposes are exempt from the requirements under the Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. Schools are legally bound to
provide information requested by ICE. Statutory authority for requesting
information from schools for SEVP purposes is found in 8 U.S.C. §
1372(c)(2). Regulatory authority for school reporting requirements is found
in 8 C.F.R. § 214.3(g).
OI SAs may obtain information needed for enforcement purposes from
institutions by directly requesting the information from the DSOs. Many
institutions will provide information informally without written requests
(orally, by email, or via facsimile). If such a relationship exists with an
institution, a formal written request does not need to be submitted. ICE has
the authority to obtain the information without a subpoena; therefore, SAs
shall not request information for SEVP enforcement purposes using an
Immigration Enforcement Subpoena.
Upon receiving a notice in writing, regulations require an institution to
provide the information requested on an individual student within 3
workdays, and within 10 workdays for a class of students (i.e., all students
in a particular major or of a certain nationality). For individuals in custody,
the institution must provide the information orally on the same day when the
request is made. The oral request will then be followed by a written
notification if requested by the institution. Written requests, on ICE
letterhead, will be made by certified mail, courier, or by other means so that
receipt of the notification can be documented.

D.

Failure to Provide Information
If an institution has failed to provide the information requested within the
specified time frame, SAs will contact the institution’s PDSO to determine
why the request was not addressed. If the failure to respond was due to an
oversight by the school, SAs will make a second request and will notify the
CEU SEVIS Program Manager via email. The second request may be made
orally or informally since the first written request meets the standard set
forth in the regulation. If an institution fails to provide the requested
information a second time or refuses to comply with the official ICE
request, the SA will notify the CEU SEVIS Program Manager for further
action.

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E.

Decertification of Schools
SAC offices may request the withdrawal of a school’s SEVP certification by
contacting the CEU SEVIS Program Manager. This request must be
accompanied by supporting documentation outlining the justification for the
withdrawal. Final authority for the withdrawal of a school’s certification is
vested with the SEVP School Certification Branch (SCB).
8 C.F.R. § 214.4 sets forth the regulations concerning the withdrawal of a
school’s certification. CEU and SAC field offices will work closely with
the SEVP SCB to provide information concerning schools that are subject to
the withdrawal of SEVP certification. This will include timely reports of
violations, documentation of incidents, and collection of evidence needed to
support the withdrawal of certification.

F.

Rejection of PDSO/DSO
ICE has the authority to certify who has access to SEVIS and may reject the
submission of any DSO nominee or withdraw a previous appointment.
Should a SAC office suspect that a PDSO/DSO is not eligible to access
SEVIS, it should contact the CEU SEVIS Program Manager for guidance.

G.

Contact with SEVP-Certified Institutions
8 C.F.R. § 214.3(I)(1)(ii) requires schools to designate one PDSO and 8
C.F.R. § 214.3(I)(1)(iii) authorizes each school to designate up to ten DSOs
at any one time, including the PDSO. DSOs are responsible for updating
SEVIS and issuing Forms I-20 A-B or I-20 M-N to prospective and current
students, as appropriate. PDSOs also serve as the principal points of contact
for ICE. These functions may not be delegated to any other person. If
additional information is required to verify the nonimmigrant student status,
SAs can contact the DSOs directly. For issues concerning contact with
DSOs, SAs should contact the CEU SEVIS Program Manager.

H.

Requests for Data and Other Information
SAs will use the current SEVIS reporting module to obtain the information
needed for their investigations. SEVIS enforcement guidance or requests
for support of special projects or investigations should be referred to the
CEU SEVIS Program Manager.

I.

Use of SEVIS Project Codes in TECS
SAs will use the appropriate TECS project codes relating to SEVIS (YR2)
for all criminal and administrative investigations involving SEVP-certified

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schools or school officials. This includes, but is not limited to, immigration
fraud and alien smuggling occurring at SEVP-certified schools.
J.

Exchange Visitor Programs
Exchange visitor programs are those programs designated by DOS to
facilitate exchange visitors (J1 nonimmigrant visa holders and their
dependents) via a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS
2019) through SEVIS. The policies that apply to academic institutions and
F and M nonimmigrant students in this section also apply to exchange
visitors. The equivalent of the PDSO/DSO is the RO and ARO, and the
equivalent of the academic institution is the exchange visitor program. The
equivalent of Form I-20 is Form DS-2019. Exchange visitor regulations are
found in 22 C.F.R. § 62.

6.3

US-VISIT

The US-VISIT Program (see Section 3.28) is the centerpiece of the U.S. Government’s
efforts to transform our nation’s border management and immigration systems in a way
that meets the needs and challenges of the 21st century. Most visitors experience
US-VISIT’s biometric procedures – digital, inkless finger scans and digital photograph –
upon entry to the United States.
DHS continues to work closely with DOS, building on the biographic and biometric
collection underway at U.S. consulates around the world. In those cases where a visitor
requires a visa, DOS collects the visitor’s biometric and biographic information through
the BioVisa program. The BioVisa program is checked against various U.S. Government
watch lists, thereby improving the ability of DOS to make a visa determination.
When a visitor arrives in the United States, US-VISIT procedures allow DHS to
determine whether the person applying for entry is the same person who was issued the
visa by DOS. Additionally, US-VISIT’s watch list checks improve the ability of DHS to
make admissibility decisions. US-VISIT entry procedures are currently in place at
airports and seaports with international arrivals and in the secondary inspection areas of
all U.S. land border ports of entry.
A.

US-VISIT Biometric Watch List
An integral part of the US-VISIT process is a fingerprint comparison of
foreign visitors’ fingerprints to the fingerprint records of individuals
identified via the US-VISIT Biometric Watch List. Biometric comparisons
of a foreign visitor’s fingerprints to the US-VISIT Biometric Watch List can
occur up to four times during the US-VISIT lifecycle of a foreign visitor:

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1) during the visa issuance process;
2) upon entry during primary inspection;
3) subsequent to entry when new records are received outside the US-VISIT
enrollment process (i.e., extracts from the Federal Bureau of
Investigation’s (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification
System’s (IAFIS) Criminal Master File) and enrolled; or
4) upon exit from the United States.
All potential fingerprint matches to the various IDENT databases, including
the US-VISIT Biometric Watch List, are referred to the DHS Biometric
Support Centers (BSCs) for comparison and matching by certified
fingerprint examiners.
B.

US-VISIT Biometric Support Center
In cases involving comparisons against IDENT watch list records, BSC
fingerprint examiners immediately communicate all findings to the
submitter. The US-VISIT BSCs are staffed 365 days per year, 24 hours a
day by expert fingerprint examiners.
(Note: The results of fingerprint matches received from BSCs are very
accurate, as matches are completed by expert fingerprint examiners.
Although these results can be used as an articulable fact to establish
probable cause for an arrest, results should be confirmed through a certified
laboratory prior to the beginning of an adversarial process. If the BSCs are
later converted into certified fingerprint laboratories, the results may be used
as court room evidence.)
CEU and US-VISIT are collaborating to utilize fingerprint data contained in
IDENT to identify the fingerprints of unidentified suspects, victims, and
witnesses and are obtaining investigative assistance from ICE. IDENT
contains the fingerprints of millions of foreign nationals encountered by
DHS and, during visa issuance, by DOS that are not accessible to state and
local law enforcement agencies by any other means. The US-VISIT BSCs
have access to millions of biometric and biographic records that are
collected and maintained by DHS.

C.

US-VISIT Biometric Exit
In 2006, US-VISIT piloted its deployment of an automated biometric exit
process to record the departure of foreign visitors. Exit procedures were in
place in 12 airports: Atlanta, Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Chicago,
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Denver, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Newark,

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Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan, and Seattle; and 2 seaports: Miami,
Florida, and Los Angeles (Long Beach/San Pedro), California. Most foreign
visitors, including nationals from Visa Waiver countries, must comply
where exit procedures are established. Canadian citizens are not required to
participate unless they fall under current US-VISIT enrollment criteria.
Effective May 6, 2007, international visitors are no longer required to check
out at a US-VISIT exit kiosk when they leave the United States. DHS is
now prepared to begin implementing exit procedures in the commercial air
environment, where the significant majority of those subject to US-VISIT
depart the United States. DHS recently began discussing the air exit
strategy with the airline industry and will be collaborating with air carriers
to implement it. DHS will publish a regulation in the future outlining its
plans for implementing an integrated air exit strategy.
6.4

Automated Biometric Identification System

IDENT is a fingerprint matching system for rapid biometric identification of subjects.
IDENT was developed in 1995 to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in identifying illegal
aliens with multiple attempted illegal entries (recidivists). Since then, IDENT has grown
from 5,000 subjects to over 50 million subjects. IDENT currently supports a variety of
users for both enforcement and immigration business processes.
IDENT users submit fingerprint transactions that search multiple databases depending on
the user’s specific business requirements. The response times from IDENT back to the
user submitting fingerprints range from a few seconds to up to 24 hours, depending on
the type of submission and the relevant IDENT databases that are searched. CBP
Officers submitting the fingerprints of foreign visitors attempting to enter the United
States who are subject to the US-VISIT provisions would be provided the results of the
search of the US-VISIT Biometric Watch List database within 10 seconds. DOS
Consular Officers submitting a fingerprint of a visa applicant requesting a Border
Crossing Card to IDENT would be provided search results within 24 hours.
User applications such as the ICE Enforcement Automated Booking Module within
ENFORCE and the USCIS Application Support Centers are equipped to capture 10-print
records for submission to both IDENT and the FBI’s IAFIS. OI field offices have 10print scanners; as a result, 2-print scanners should no longer be used.
6.5

International Criminal Police Organization

In cooperation with the U.S. National Central Bureau (USNCB) of the International
Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and US-VISIT, CEU has developed a
biometric-based program to identify foreign fugitives and criminals who have entered the
United States. The program’s goal is to identify and to locate foreign fugitives and career
criminals and to take the appropriate law enforcement action(s), including administrative
and/or criminal arrest, removal, or extradition.

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The USNCB provides fingerprints related to the Red, Blue, and Green Notices to
US-VISIT, which are then uploaded and/or checked against IDENT. Subsequently,
US-VISIT creates lookout records to provide notification to IDENT users if there is a
fingerprint match related to the INTERPOL notices. Confirmed match information is
forwarded to CEU for further analysis and potential field assignment. Explanations of
these notices, as provided by INTERPOL, are as follows:
A.

Red Notices
Red Notices seek the arrest of subjects for whom an arrest warrant has been
issued and where extradition will be requested.

B.

Blue Notices
Blue Notices seek information (identity or criminal records) for subjects
who have committed a criminal offense, and are used to trace and locate a
subject whose extradition may be sought (unidentified offenders or
witnesses).

C.

Green Notices
Green Notices provide information on career criminals who have committed
or are likely to commit offenses in several countries (e.g., habitual
offenders, child molesters, or pornographers).

U.S. law does not allow for the arrest of an individual based solely on the existence of a
Red Notice from INTERPOL. U.S. law enforcement officers are required to obtain a
provisional arrest warrant or develop probable cause for another violation that is a
violation of U.S. law. Provisional arrest warrants are obtained after the country
requesting extradition from the United States submits a provisional arrest warrant
package to DOJ’s Office of International Affairs, and the provisional arrest warrant is
issued by the appropriate U.S. court. In circumstances where obtaining a provisional
arrest warrant is necessary to take an individual into custody, the field agent assigned to
the case should work closely with CEU at ICE OI HQ, INTERPOL, and/or the U.S.
Marshals Service.
6.6

Visa Revocation

DOS is responsible for the issuance and revocation of nonimmigrant visas. DOS
regularly revokes nonimmigrant visas for a variety of reasons, including national security
concerns. In coordination with DOS, the Terrorist Screening Center, the FBI, and CBP,
CEU ensures that all nonimmigrant aliens currently in the United States who have had
their visas revoked on national security grounds are thoroughly investigated and, if
possible, removed from the United States. Visa revocation does not strip subjects of their
legal status in the United States.

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When DOS revokes a visa because of terrorism concerns, OI ensures that the proper
investigative actions are taken. CEU is notified when DOS revokes a visa for national
security concerns. OI SAs are encouraged to liaison with the local OCC (so that NSLD
can be consulted if necessary) as early in the process as feasible, as soon as the
applicability of either a national security bar or a charge under INA § 212(a)(3) or
237(a)(4) becomes a possibility. CEU fully reviews the lead and, if the subject of the
revocation is found to be present in the United States, a collateral investigative request is
forwarded to the appropriate field office. As mentioned above, since the revocation does
not become effective until the alien departs the United States, visa revocation does not
strip subjects of their legal status in the United States. In many visa revocation cases,
classified derogatory information related to the subject exists. Should SAs require access
to classified information regarding the individual, HQ contact information is contained in
the initial Report of Investigation (ROI). The ICE Reporting and Operations Center is a
secure contact available to SAs on a 24/7 basis and allows updated classified derogatory
information relating to the target to be provided in a timely manner to requesting SAs.
Additionally, the SAC Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) representative has access to
classified derogatory information.
The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) of 2004 granted explicit
authority to DHS to remove an alien whose nonimmigrant visa is revoked by DOS.
8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(B). DOS has long had the authority to revoke an alien’s visa at
any time as a matter of discretion pursuant to INA § 221(i). Generally, revocations by
DOS are not reviewed by courts under the doctrine of consular nonreviewability. This
protection from judicial review gives DOS great flexibility to revoke visas on a low
threshold of information. While IRTPA § 5304 grants explicit authority to DHS to
remove aliens based on a DOS revocation, that revocation is subject to judicial review
when a visa revocation is the sole basis for DHS removing an alien. This judicial review
provision has significantly, if not completely, defused the new authority gained from
making revocations a ground for removal.
6.7

Retroactive Visa Revocation Request

It is important to note that visa revocation does not strip the subject of his or her legal
status in the United States. DHS and DOS implemented a program that allows for the
retroactive revocation of nonimmigrant visas. In certain exceptional cases, DHS may
request DOS to retroactively revoke an individual’s visa to the date it was issued,
rendering the subject inadmissible and, if present in the United States, with no valid
immigration status. This places the alien in the same position as an alien who has not
been admitted. ICE may then initiate removal proceedings.
6.8

Lost and Stolen Passport

Since November 2004, CEU has been responsible for initiating lost and stolen passport
investigations for ICE. The CBP NTC generates investigative lead information related to
nonimmigrants who have entered the United States using a lost or stolen foreign passport.
CEU thoroughly reviews each lead and assigns field investigations on those individuals it

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determines to be present in the United States. If, during the review, CEU identifies a
nexus to terrorism or national security, the investigation is forwarded to the National
Security Integration Center for further review and dissemination to OI JTTF SAs.
6.9

Alien Flight Student Program

TSA is responsible for vetting nonimmigrants who seek to attend flight training within
the United States and for conducting a threat assessment. As a result of the September
11, 2001, terrorist attacks, TSA implemented the AFSP. Beginning in April 2005, CEU
assumed responsibility for evaluating the immigration status of certain applicants.
Nonimmigrants who wish to attend flight training that will lead to a Federal Aviation
Administration certification type or rating must submit a request to TSA. Candidates use
the TSA website on the Internet and submit their background information and flight
training requests. TSA reviews the applications and conducts a threat assessment to
determine if the alien is eligible for flight training.
In support of the TSA threat assessment, CEU performs database research and provides
TSA with a determination as to the immigration eligibility of applicants for flight
training. If the CEU determines that the nonimmigrant is in violation of his or her status
or is amenable to removal, it will forward a lead to the appropriate OI field office for
further investigation.
6.10

Visa Waiver Enforcement Program

CEU developed the Visa Waiver Enforcement Program (VWEP) to address inherent
vulnerabilities in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by identifying and targeting high-risk
overstay and status violators who entered the United States under the VWP. The
potential exists that an individual who seeks to do harm to the United States could obtain
a passport from one of the VWP countries as a way of circumventing the scrutiny of the
visa application process. The VWEP identifies potentially high-risk participants who
overstay their term of admission in the United States and assigns investigations to OI
field offices. VWP non-immigrant overstays are not entitled to a hearing before an
immigration judge and the removal process at the SAC office unless the alien applies for
asylum, in which situation the case must be referred to the immigration judge. While
aliens who enter, or attempt to enter the United States under the VWP have extremely
limited forms of relief available, it is not accurate to state that they are not entitled to any
due process. See McGuire v. INS, 804 F. Supp. 1229 (N.D. Cal. 1992) (waiver of hearing
was knowing and intelligent; VWP does not violate due process or equal protection).

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Chapter 7. COMPLIANCE ENFORCEMENT INVESTIGATIONS
7.1

Violator Identification

CEU receives nonimmigrant compliance information from various immigration
databases. The information identifies nonimmigrants who have entered or are attempting
to enter the United States through an established immigration entry process and have
failed to comply with immigration regulations. CEU prioritizes the information based on
the potential threat to national security or public safety and forwards the information to
research analysts for further review.
A.

System Leads
CEU obtains leads on potential status violators on a weekly basis from
SEVIS, NSEERS, and US-VISIT. NSEERS and US-VISIT provide
information on overstays, while SEVIS provides information on terminated
students.

B.

Specialized Leads
Visa Revocations, Lost and Stolen Passports, TSA AFSP, INTERPOL, and
Biometric Watch List investigative leads are a result of the cross reference
of information among various law enforcement entities and their respective
databases. Although the subject of a lead may have entered and appears to
be present in the United States legally, additional investigative information
could indicate that further scrutiny is required.

7.2

Database Analysis

Research analysts use both general investigative and immigration-specific databases to
verify the current status and residential location of nonimmigrant status violators. While
assessing the viability of a nonimmigrant status violator lead, research analysts determine
if the nonimmigrant is in violation, if the nonimmigrant is present in the United States,
and if the information obtained identifies the current location of the nonimmigrant and a
valid U.S. address by using information contained in the databases below:
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
I.

ADIS
AR-11
AutoTrac
AVALANCHE
CCD
CIS (Note: CIS does not always reflect the proper status of an alien; only a
review of the individual’s A-file can determine his or her actual status.)
CLAIMS
EARM
ENFORCE

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J.
K.
L.
M.
N.
O.
P.

Law Enforcement Analysis Data System (NETLeads)
National Crime Information Center
RAPS
SIT
SEVIS
TECS
U.S. Postal Service

Throughout the process, all relevant information pertaining to an identified nonimmigrant
status violator is documented in the LeadTrac database.
7.3

LeadTrac Database

Information collected relating to nonimmigrant status violators is consolidated,
categorized, and entered into a CEU-specific internal database known as LeadTrac,
which is maintained at HQ. LeadTrac information is entered, tracked, verified, and
managed by research analysts and CEU Program Managers at HQ.
7.4

Investigative Lead Referral

CEU works closely with the Intelligence Community to maintain a risk-based matrix with
which to prioritize the hundreds of thousands of potential status violators that CEU
reviews annually. All nonimmigrant status violators identified as viable for further field
investigation are reviewed by HQ CEU Program Managers. HQ CEU Program Managers
initiate a TECS case for each nonimmigrant status violator and prepare the case for
dissemination to the appropriate OI field office.
7.5

Case Categories

Case numbers are assigned to CEU cases in TECS based on the following criteria:
18D
19B
19C
19D
19E
19F
19H
7.6

Lost and Stolen Passport
NSEERS
SEVIS/TSA AFSP
INTERPOL/Biometric Watch list
Visa Revocation
US-VISIT Overstay
VWEP

Collateral Request Assignment

All information located by CEU is consolidated and uploaded into a TECS ROI by a
CEU Program Manager. The TECS ROI initiates a collateral request for the designated
field office. Field CEU coordinators review, assign, and ensure that all CEU collateral
requests are investigated in a timely manner. In compliance with the OI Case
Management Handbook (OI HB 08-02, dated February 1, 2008), an ROI must be posted

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by the case agent to an opened investigation within 20 days of the initiation of the
investigation.
If the receiving office determines that the nonimmigrant is located in another AOR, the
SA will write a closing ROI to summarize the information and will report it to CEU via
TECS. CEU will then initiate the collateral request to the responsible field office for the
identified AOR.
7.7

Timely Assignment and Reporting Requirement

CEU coordinators ensure the completion of collateral investigation requests in a timely
manner. Should a CEU investigation contain time sensitive information, a HQ CEU
Program Manager will notify the responsible field office and will provide further
clarification and guidance. If the nonimmigrant status violator is or may be of national
security interest and subject to removal from the United States, SAs shall prioritize these
investigations accordingly. After conducting the preliminary background investigation,
SAs will better understand the amount of attention that one case may require as opposed
to another.
7.8

Database Review

SAs shall review the information provided in the collateral ROI and conduct independent
database queries as necessary. SAs may be able to develop additional information that
would aid in the identification, location, or confirmation of the status of the
nonimmigrant. SAs are authorized access to essential compliance-related databases.
7.9

Field Investigation and Interview

Upon location of the nonimmigrant, SAs will conduct a field interview, locate and review
nonimmigrant documentation, and determine the immigration status. SAs will also
question the nonimmigrant as to financial status, employment history, contacts and
associates, and recent travels. If the nonimmigrant is out of status, SAs will take
appropriate action and document the results in an ROI. If the interview results in the
discovery of additional criminal violations, SAs will contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As with any investigation, there will be times when SAs are unable to locate the target of
the investigation and have exhausted all investigative leads. Prior to closing this case and
reporting that “all leads have been exhausted,” CEU recommends that the minimum
measures described below be taken to ensure that full attention has been given to the
investigation. Within 90 days of receiving a collateral investigation request from CEU,
the assigned case agent should:
A.

Contact any listed points of contact, relatives, petitioners or sponsors, if
available;

B.

If investigating a student violator, contact the DSO in an attempt to identify
additional locator information or known associates;

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C.

Perform a physical check of any known addresses, including inquiries with
neighbors; if the property appears inhabited, return until contact is
established with the resident;

D.

Utilize CCD photograph(s) during related interviews to assist in
investigative efforts;

E.

Contact other law enforcement agencies for any additional leads;

F.

Check open source web searches via Google, Myspace, Facebook, etc. for
possible leads;

G.

Re-run subject queries through any available government and public
databases for updated information regarding the subject;

H.

Subpoena subscriber information on any telephone numbers associated with
the target;

I.

Subpoena subscriber information on any known email accounts associated
with the target; and

J.

Provide CEU with any additional addresses and email addresses identified,
including addresses that are located outside the SAC’s AOR.

Using the above measures will ensure that the appropriate investigative resources are
applied to all CEU investigations. If the subject of the investigation remains un-located
after exhausting all the above measures, the case agent shall fully articulate in the closing
ROI all investigative measures taken. Use of anonymous (“anonymized”) and/or
undercover computers is suggested for open source web searches.
A.

Consent Searches
In cases relating to terrorist or criminal activity, SAs should make every
effort to obtain search warrants. If there is insufficient evidence available
for a search warrant, SAs should attempt to gain consent to search the
premises. After access to the premises is granted, SAs will request consent
to search the residence and attempt to identify any items of evidentiary
value, including, but not limited to, contraband, evidence of criminal
activity, electronic media devices, and items that could indicate a potential
threat to national security. SAs should document the consent to search
appropriately and attempt to identify both items of evidentiary value and/or
those that may indicate a threat to national security.

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B.

Intelligence Collection
SAs should be mindful of the potential for terrorist conspiracies and/or
criminal activity associated with, or known by, the subject of the CEU
collateral investigation. If the individual maintains significant information
related to other criminal activities, a consideration should be made, in
accordance with OI policy on informants, to recruit the individual as a
source of information. During the investigation, SAs should make every
effort to recruit sources of information from the targets of the CEU
collateral, as well as from others interviewed during the course of the
investigation.

C.

Terrorist Nexus Indications
SAs should be mindful of terrorist indicators such as, but not limited to,
precursor chemicals, anti-government literature, and maps of high interest
areas. Specifically, items and indicators identified in previous JTTF
investigations included:
1)

Uniforms, badges, or other items inconsistent with an individual’s
stated occupation;

2)

Possession of extremist or anti-American literature or media;

3)

Books or materials on law enforcement procedures;

4)

Presence of chemical stains or burns and rusted metal items within a
dwelling;

5)

Evidence of storage rental units;

6)

Indications of extensive research into mass transit systems and
airports; and

7)

Possession of large numbers of calling cards or cellular telephones.

SAs working Compliance Enforcement investigations with a terrorist nexus should
consult with their local ICE OI JTTF coordinator prior to taking enforcement action. SAs
should also consult with their local OCC prior to taking enforcement action in these cases
so that NSLD can be put on notice as well as consulted, when appropriate.
7.10

Removability Determination

After a review of the nonimmigrant’s status, SAs should determine removability and
should process the nonimmigrant in ENFORCE, if removable.

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A.

Criminal Prosecution
Relevant criminal violations should be identified and prosecuted with the
assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Criminal arrests must be
documented in TECS via a Seized Asset and Case Tracking System
(SEACATS) Report.

B.

Administrative Proceedings
SAs should initiate administrative removal proceedings. Administrative
arrests must be documented in ENFORCE and in TECS via a SEACATS
Incident Report. Prior to making administrative arrests or initiating
administrative removal proceedings on any case where a national security
charge or a bar under INA § 212(a)(3) or 237(a)(4) may be applicable, SAs
must contact their local OCC so that NSLD may be alerted and/or consulted
by the OCC where appropriate.

7.11

Database Reporting/Management Notification

Should a CEU-generated lead result in a significant arrest (i.e., criminal alien, subject of a
lookout, or INTERPOL subject), SAs should utilize the SEN system to create a SIR.
Should a field investigation result in the arrest of an individual not identified as the
subject of the investigation, SAs should include all qualifying information related to the
incidental arrest. SAs should contact the appropriate CEU Program Manager if the
investigation identifies additional criminal violations or when proposed enforcement
activities are forthcoming.
At the conclusion of the investigation, SAs must document the results in a TECS ROI and
annotate any arrests, including collateral arrests, that resulted from the investigation. The
closing ROI in TECS should document the alien registration number for the primary
subject and/or any collateral subjects encountered in the course of the investigation.

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Appendix A

SUPERSEDED DOCUMENTS

The Compliance Enforcement Handbook supersedes the following policy documents.
This list is not all-inclusive:
- OI Memorandum, “Delegation to the Chief of the Compliance Enforcement Unit of
the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations to Issue
Registration Interview Notification” (May 2004)
- OI Memorandum, “Deployment of ENFORCE - IDENT Equipment” (June 1, 2004)
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Standard Operating Procedures for the
US-VISIT Exit Pilot Program (November 5, 2004)
- OI Memorandum, “Utilization of ENFORCE by ICE Investigations” (January 25,
2005)
- OI Memorandum, “Operation United Front” (August 21, 2006)
- OI Memorandum, “Operation United Front” (September 29, 2006)
- OI Memorandum, “Minimum Standards on Compliance Enforcement Case Closures”
(April 18, 2008)
- OI Memorandum, “Visa Waiver Enforcement Program Implementation” (April 3,
2009)

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Appendix B

ACRONYMS
A
ADIS
AFSP
AOR
AR
ARO
AVALANCHE

Arrival Departure Information System
Alien Flight Student Program
Area of Responsibility
Address Request
Alternate Responsible Official
Advanced Visual Abstracted Links and Name Collection Handler
Engine

B
BBS
BSC

Bureau of Border Security
Biometric Support Center

C
CBP
CCD
CEU
CFR
CIRS
CIS
CLAIMS

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Consular Consolidated Database
Compliance Enforcement Unit
Code of Federal Regulations
Criminal Investigative Reporting System
Central Index System
Computer Linked Automated Information Management System

D
DACS
DHS
DOJ
DOS
DSO

Deportable Alien Control System
Department of Homeland Security
Department of Justice
Department of State
Designated School Official

E
EARM
EBSVERA
EID
ENFORCE

ENFORCE Alien Removal Module
Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act
Enforcement Integrated Database
Enforcement Case Tracking System

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F
FBI
FIN
FR

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Fingerprint Identification Number
Federal Register

G
H
HQ

Headquarters

I
IAFIS
ICE
IDENT
INA
INS
INTERPOL
IRTPA

Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Automated Biometric Identification System
Immigration and Nationality Act
Immigration and Naturalization Service
International Criminal Police Organization
Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004

J
JTTF

Joint Terrorism Task Force

K-M
N
NSEERS
NSLD
NTA
NTC

National Security Entry-Exit Registration System
National Security Law Division
Notice to Appear
National Targeting Center

O
OCC
OI

Office of the Chief Counsel
Office of Investigations

P
PDSO

Principal Designated School Official

Q

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R
RAPS
RO
ROI

Refugee and Asylee Processing System
Responsible Official
Report of Investigation

S
SA
SAC
SCB
SEACATS
SEN
SEVIS
SEVP
SIR
SIT
STSC

Special Agent
Special Agent in Charge
School Certification Branch
Seized Asset and Case Tracking System
Significant Event Notification
Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
Student and Exchange Visitor Program
Significant Incident Report
Secondary Inspection Tool
Students and Schools

T
TECS
TSA

(former acronym of) Treasury Enforcement Communications
System
Transportation Security Administration

U
USC
USCIS
USNCB
US-VISIT
USA PATRIOT Act

United States Code
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. National Central Bureau
United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology
Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate
Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act

V
VWEP
VWP

Visa Waiver Enforcement Program
Visa Waiver Program

W-Z

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January 25, 2010

 

 

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