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Immigration Jobs

Work for Homeland Security


Border Patrol Investigates Washed Up Suspected Migrant Boat
Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you're looking for a job in immigration, you should consider the three "immigration" agencies within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Customs & Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Homeland Security Careers Information

Information about careers with the federal government can be found at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Here you'll find a section devoted to federal job seekers in addition to federal employee information such as pay scales and benefits.

U.S. citizenship is a requirement for the majority of these federal jobs. Read the requirements carefully before applying.

The following provides careers information specific to each agency.


Careers Website: CBP offers a comprehensive careers section on its website.

CBP Says: "Discover a challenging and rewarding career in CBP, the sole organization responsible for securing the nation's borders. As part of our carefully selected, highly trained team, you'll leverage state-of-the art technology, innovative strategies and world-wide partnerships to protect our communities and defend our frontier."

Number of Employees: Approximately 53,000 employees across the U.S. and overseas.

Type of Work: There are two major categories with CBP occupations: frontline law enforcement and mission critical occupations, and operational and mission support positions.

Where to Apply: Current USCIS opportunities can be found on USA Jobs. USA Jobs is the official job site of the U.S. Federal Government.

CBP also maintains a list of recruiting events on its website.

Salary Examples: New border patrol agents can expect to make $36,658 - $46,542 per year, while a mission support specialist will find positions ranging from $26,264 - $42,290 per year (Fiscal 2009).


Careers Website: ICE careers information is available on the ICE website.

ICE Says: "As a member of the ICE team, your experience, skills, and leadership will be applied to financial and trade investigations; cyber crimes; project analyses and management; litigating removal cases in immigration court; working with foreign authorities; intelligence gathering; investigations into arms and strategic technology violations; human trafficking; and child exploitation. You’ll provide security for federal buildings, perform crowd control and surveillance, and work with other federal state and local authorities. Or, you may perform enforcement duties that include the apprehension, processing, detention and deportation of illegal or criminal aliens. Finally, you may work in any one of our technical, professional, administrative, or management occupations directly supporting our law enforcement mission."

Number of Employees: ICE has approximately 15,000 employees working in 400 offices nationwide and over 50 locations internationally.

Type of Work: ICE classifies its job opportunities into two categories: criminal investigators (special agents) and all other ICE opportunities.

Where to Apply: Entry-level criminal investigators are recruited directly through recruiters. These vacancies are not posted on USA Jobs. Contact the Special Agent Recruiters at the nearest Special Agent in Charge (SAC) office to apply for a criminal investigator position, but only when ICE is actively recruiting. Check the career section of ICE's website to find out if the department is recruiting.

All other ICE job opportunities can be found on USA Jobs. USA Jobs is the official job site of the U.S. Federal Government.

ICE also has an extensive recruitment calendar available on its site. Find out when ICE will be in your area.

Salary Examples: Detention and Removal/Investigative Assistants can expect to start at $29,726 - $47,864 per year. Mission Support Specialists can earn $48,108 to $90,698 per year (Fiscal 2009).


Careers Website: The USCIS Careers site offers helps you learn about USCIS, information on becoming a USCIS employee, pay and benefits offerings, training and career development opportunities and some frequently asked questions.

USCIS Says: "You can make a significant impact on immigrant's lives while protecting and securing our shores by helping qualified immigrants and refugees gain the promise and potential of legally living and working in the United States and becoming U.S. citizens. Contribute to the USCIS mission to maintain the integrity of our nation's immigration system and build on America's promise and foundation as a beacon of hope and liberty."

Number of Employees: Approximately 15,000 federal and contract employees at 250 offices worldwide.

Type of Work: Permanent, temporary and term opportunities are available within the following positions: Security Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, Management and Program Analyst, Applications Adjudicator, Asylum Officer, Refugee Officer, Immigration Information Officer, Immigration Officer (FDNS), Intelligence Research Specialist, Adjudications Officer, and Immigration Services Officer.

Where to Apply: Current USCIS opportunities can be found on USA Jobs. USA Jobs is the official job site of the U.S. Federal Government.

In addition to the website, USCIS allows allows you to access job opening information through an interactive voice response telephone system at (703)724-1850 or by TDD at (978)461-8404.

Look for recruiting events in the USCIS recruiting calendar.

Salary Examples: Management & Program Analyst at USCIS can earn $69,764 to $127,442 per year while the new Administrative Appeals Chief can expect to take home $114,468 to $172,200 per year (Fiscal 2009).


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