Since its inception, DHS has had a willingness to experiment with the placement of some of its offices and agencies until a best fit is discovered, Shingler observed. For example, the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) came into DHS as part of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). As air marshals are law enforcement officers like ICE agents, DHS moved them into ICE for a time but ultimately decided to move them back to TSA. It simply worked better there, Shingler said, because it was more closely aligned with the mission of TSA than that of ICE.
"FPS has been one of those little guys on the to-do list since the very beginning," Shingler remarked. "It could certainly fit in ICE because it's been there for a while now. But it could be other places. It really doesn't do immigration or customs cases. It does come across immigration and customs things if an illegal alien tries to go to work for a government agency, then FPS does make arrests that impact the ICE mission. But across the board, they don't really do immigration or Customs cases. They do much more work in infrastructure protection."
Once FPS is removed, ICE will be staffed by only former INS personnel with the exception of legacy U.S. Customs Service special agents. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been working behind the scenes to obtain Series 1811 criminal investigators. It seems likely that many of those new positions would be filled by legacy Customs special agents currently assigned to ICE.
A similar situation happened in 1973 when many Customs special agents were force transferred to DEA. The majority of the agents returned to "mother" Customs with very few staying at DEA. Since 2003 when ICE was formed, many legacy Customs agents have left ICE transferring to other agencies and retiring in record numbers. Approximately 1500 legacy Customs agents still work at ICE. Ask any current ICE employee and they will tell you that over 90% of the remaining legacy Customs agents would rather work at CBP.
It's very clear now, that DHS is a bureaucratic disaster and a total mess. Both agencies are stuck under DHS but ICE has become INS and CBP is the legacy Customs Service. DHS is what happens when Congress over reacts and the result is even a bigger disaster. Billions of taxpayers dollars have been wasted by the creation of DHS and the country is less secure than it was prior to September 11, 2001. Creating more bureaucracy is never the answer to government's problems. When will we learn this very simple lesson?