OTHER IMMIGRATION OFFICER TRAINING
While basic training has become INS' most pressing training priority, Immigration Officers have training needs that extend beyond basic courses. These needs include advanced training, supervisory training, management training, and other training made necessary by changes in law. The latter category includes general arrest authority training mandated by the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT 90).
INS is Addressing Supervisory Training Needs, but Large Numbers of Immigration Officers Need Advanced Training
Prior to FY 1995, advanced training for journeyman Immigration Officers and training for supervisors and managers were provided by IOA and Border Patrol Academy staff at the FLETC facility in Artesia. Beginning in FY 1996, most of the advanced, supervisory, and management training at Artesia was suspended to increase INS' basic training capacity. Journeyman training resumed in FY 1997, but a backlog had developed of approximately 2,500 Immigration Officers who had never received this training. By the end of FY 1997, 891 of these Immigration Officers had received the journeyman training. In March 1996, the INS Training Division began supervisory and management training at its new Leadership Development Center in Dallas. The Leadership Development Center has eliminated the backlog of supervisors needing training.
Advanced courses are designed to provide journeyman-level Immigration Officers with exposure to advanced job-specific topics and updates of material that was provided in basic training. These advanced courses range from one day to two weeks of training and have been held at the FLETC facility in Artesia. INS suspended most of the advanced training in FY 1996 due to the enormous facility needs of increased basic training.
A May 1996 Training Division survey of advanced training needs revealed that 2,525 officers had never received this training. The Training Division was in the process of redesigning Immigration Officer advanced courses to include both residential IOA courses and distributed or exportable courses. The new courses began in 1997 at Artesia. The Training Division had hoped to get 945 officers through Immigration Officer advanced courses during FY 1997, but due to problems getting some of the classes filled, the Training Division staff was only able to train 891 of them.
The Advanced IOA and BPA staff formerly also provided supervisory and management training at Artesia. This training was curtailed along with advanced training in FY 1996. Recognizing the importance of supervisory and management training, at the end of March 1996, INS opened the Leadership Development Center in Dallas. The Center teaches six different types and levels of courses: basic and advanced supervision, basic and advanced management, balanced leadership, and impact leadership. The Center is run by a staff of INS and contract instructors.
The classes conducted so far at the Center have eliminated the backlog that was developing of new supervisors who had not attended any supervisory or management training. From its opening in March 1996 through the end of FY 1996, the Center trained 861 supervisors and managers. The Training Division believes it will now be able to provide supervisory training to all new supervisors within 90 days of their becoming supervisors.
We observed that the Center's staff members were very knowledgeable on supervisory training subjects. The classes have been well received by all levels of Immigration Officers and Border Patrol Agents. Officers whom we interviewed found the training covering technical supervisory skills, such as developing performance work plans, to be especially valuable. Both staff and trainees told us that the one-week courses are the appropriate length.
In January 1997, the Leadership Development Center was accredited by the American Council on Education. After an exhaustive review of the Center's curriculum, the Council determined that each of the six classes is comparable to three semester hours of university credit. The Basic Supervisory class is classified at the lower baccalaureate level and the other five are all at the senior baccalaureate level.
INS Has Not Yet Provided Any General Arrest Authority Training Mandated by the Immigration Act of 1990
The Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT 90) expands the arrest authority of designated INS officers from solely immigration-related violations to all crimes under federal law. IMMACT 90 stipulates that this expanded arrest authority, referred to as general arrest authority (GAA), will not be conferred until officers have completed relevant training.7 INS has not yet provided the training necessary to confer general arrest authority on its officers.
Prior to IMMACT 90, the arrest authority of INS officers was limited to violations of the immigration laws. IMMACT 90 provides authority to designated INS officers to make arrests for any offense against the laws of the United States committed in the officers' presence, or for any felony under the laws of the United States if the officers have reasonable grounds to believe the person to be arrested has committed, or is committing, such a felony.
IMMACT 90 also provides that conferring general arrest authority is dependent upon the publication of final regulations prescribing: categories of INS officers and employees who may use force, standards with respect to enforcement activities, successful completion of training, and an expedited internal review process for violations of such standards. Final provisions governing the application of these authorities were incorporated in 8 CFR 287 on August 17, 1994. Although these regulations were published as a final rule, there was a one-year interval between publication and the effective date to allow INS to complete the certified training requirement. These regulations designate the following categories of officer as eligible for general arrest authority: Border Patrol Agents, Special Agents, Deportation Officers, Immigration Inspectors, and Immigration Examiners, when acting as Immigration Inspectors.
The Training Division developed a general arrest authority training program that, while focused on the expanded arrest authority, would also increase professionalism in INS through the introduction of written standards for conducting INS enforcement activities, and provide officers additional instruction in the use of non-deadly methods and devices during confrontations with an arrestee or detainee. This additional instruction includes the use of oleoresin capsicum (pepper) spray, the collapsible baton, and the electronic defense module.8 INS will not permit officers to use these devices until standards have been developed for their use and additional training is provided.
Due to the large number of INS staff in need of general arrest authority training -approximately 14,000 officers - INS chose a video-based medium as its primary means of delivering training. INS believed that this training medium would promote consistency of instruction, permit flexible field scheduling, and simplify testing. The training design was divided into two sections. One section is primarily academic, covering subjects such as legal authority, use of force, and conduct of arrests. The other section is practical training for the skills-based curricula such as control and arrest techniques, non-deadly force devices, and deadly force.
INS planned a train-the-trainer approach and trained 20 master instructors to further train approximately 400 local instructors. These local instructors were to provide general arrest authority training for INS officers at eight field locations. INS estimated that this training would require nearly 66,000 workdays. In FYs 1995 and 1996, INS spent about $3.3 million on this training program. During that period, the training staff produced and purchased the needed training materials and trained the 20 master trainers. INS also trained 86 local instructors in the electronic defense module and 77 in the collapsible steel baton.
Although training materials were produced and some trainers have been trained, no general arrest authority training has been provided to rank and file officers. INS needs to resolve some issues before training can begin. INS has not yet approved all of the enforcement standards mandated in the legislation. Work continues to resolve issues pertaining to use of non-deadly and deadly force, body search, and definitions of on-duty and off-duty status. An options paper has been drafted for the Commissioner's review and initiation of general arrest authority training is awaiting the Commissioner's decision.
The INS Training Division informed us that INS needs about four months after resolution of these issues to begin training. During that time, materials could be updated and trainers trained. Once training begins, the Training Division estimates that it could most likely be completed within one year.
Immigration Officers told us they want general arrest authority training. INS officers and supervisors, especially at Service Processing Centers where aliens are detained, emphasized the heightened danger under which officers operate because INS prohibits them from using certain non-deadly methods and devices until they receive this training. The lack of options to subdue a violent and uncooperative detainee may unnecessarily endanger the officer, the detainee, or bystanders.
General arrest authority for INS officers was mandated by law in 1990. However, as yet, no officers have received the necessary training to exercise the authority. The general arrest authority training curriculum contains material on non-deadly methods and devices that could help protect officers from injury or death. Given the legal mandate, the value of the curriculum, and the costs incurred to INS thus far, we believe INS needs to resolve the outstanding issues immediately and begin the required training.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
INS has succeeded in providing basic training for unprecedented numbers of newly-hired officers over the past several years. However, the burden of training these large numbers has placed considerable strain on INS' training system. While INS made gains in some training areas, such as eliminating the backlog of untrained supervisors, it has fallen further behind in other areas. General arrest authority training, mandated by law in 1990, has not yet begun. Validations of IOA basic training curricula have been neglected. For a period of one year, Immigration Inspectors trained at the Charleston facility were sent to duty stations without law enforcement training and without the authority to carry weapons. Exportable CUSA and benefits basic training have been delivered without headquarters oversight.
INS must ensure that the influx of new officers and frequent changes in immigration law do not overwhelm its training system. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 contains significant changes that affect the daily operations of most Immigration Officer occupations. Approximately 16,000 Immigration Officers and Border Patrol Agents have received Phase I training on this law, but still need Phase II. Providing training for these officers will further strain INS' training system. We believe a strong Training Division and effective oversight of training programs are necessary to ensure that all INS officers receive the quality training they need.
The Inspections Division recommends that the Commissioner, Immigration and Naturalization Service:
DRAFT INSPECTION REPORT:
Inspection of Immigration Officer
Training; Assignment Number A-96-22
DEC 10 1997
Mary W. Demory
Assistant Inspector General
Department of Justice
Office of the
Attached is the response from the Executive Associate Commissioner for Management addressing your memorandum dated September 11. I have reviewed the response and concur with the comments. The response to the third recommendation of the subject report describes the period of time that we will require to begin training INS officers on general arrest authority policies and procedures.
As stated in your report, we cannot begin this training until we arrive at certain decisions relating to general arrest authority. These decisions will ultimately influence general arrest authority policies and procedures. Once we make these decisions and formulate the respective policies and procedures, we must submit them to the labor union/management partnership process for endorsement. Unfortunately, I cannot predict a date by which the partnership endorsement process will be finalized. We will keep you advised of our progress in this area.
If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen Stanley, Audit Liaison, at
cc: Vickie Sloan, DOJ Audit Liaison
DRAFT INSPECTION REPORT:
Inspection of Immigration Officer
Training; Assignment Number A-96-22
OCT - 6 1997
Office of Management
The Training and Development Branch has carefully reviewed the entire report and is pleased to note that the OIG included suggestions for clarification of several issues in the preliminary draft. The recommendations are reasonable and based on the information provided in the report.
RECOMMENDATION 1: Issue procedures that clearly assign authority and responsibility for oversight of exportable basic training programs, including basic training programs for temporary officers.
INS RESPONSE: Concur
INS will issue procedures clearly assigning authority and responsibility for oversight of exportable basic training programs, including basic training programs for temporary officers. Expected date for completion - December 31, 1997
RECOMMENDATION 2: Instruct the Training Division to complete all overdue Immigration Officer Basic Training Course validations no later than the end of FY 1998. These validations should include a thorough assessment of the Spanish language needs of each Immigration Officer occupation.
INS RESPONSE: Concur in Part
The Training and Development Branch will complete all overdue Immigration Officer Basic Training Course validations. All overdue Part I validations will be completed by September 30, 1998. All overdue Part II validations will be completed by December 31, 1998.
A thorough assessment of the Spanish language needs of each Immigration Officer occupation will be a separate project from the Immigration Officer Basic Training Course validations. This will require a thorough analysis of our Spanish Training Program. Expected date for completion - September 30, 1998
RECOMMENDATION 3: Begin general arrest authority training not later than
the end of FY 1998.
INS RESPONSE: Concur in Part
As stated in the report, the Training and Development Branch will be able to begin training on general arrest authority 4 months after policy issues are resolved. Four months is the time necessary to update and finalize already developed draft training materials. Expected date for completion - 4 months after policy issues resolved.
For additional information or clarification, please contact Vance N. Remillard, Director, Training and Development Branch on 202-616-2674.
George H. Bohlinger, III
Executive Associate Commissioner
OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL'S ANALYSIS
OF MANAGEMENT'S RESPONSE
On September 11, 1997, the Inspections Division sent copies of the draft report to INS with a request for written comments. INS responded by memorandum from the Commissioner dated December 10,1997 (APPENDIX I).
1. Recommendation 1 - Resolved-Open.
INS concurred with our recommendation and stated in its memorandum that it will issue procedures clearly assigning authority and responsibility for oversight of exportable basic training programs. The expected completion date for issuing such procedures was December 31, 1997. We have learned in subsequent discussions with INS Training Division that this date has been moved to March 30, 1998. This recommendation will be closed upon receipt of these procedures.
2. Recommendation 2 - Resolved-Open.
INS concurred in part with our recommendation to complete all overdue Immigration Officer Basic Training Course validations by the end of FY 1998. In its response, INS stated that Phase I of all overdue Immigration Officer Basic Training Course validations will be completed by the end of FY 1998. However, its proposed target date for completing Phase II of the validations is December 31, 1998. This is a reasonable schedule for final completion of all overdue Phase I and Phase II validations by the Training and Development Branch.
Our recommendation stated that these validations should include a thorough assessment of the Spanish language needs of each Immigration Officer occupation. Rather than include this assessment as part of the validations, INS proposes to conduct this assessment as a separate project requiring a thorough analysis of its Spanish Training Program. The expected completion date is September 30, 1998.
We will close this recommendation when we receive copies of the completed Phase I and Phase II validations and the completed Spanish Training Program assessment.
3. Recommendation 3 - Unresolved - Open.
While INS stated in its memorandum that it concurred in part with the recommendation to begin general arrest authority training not later than the end of FY 1998, in effect, its response was a nonconcur. INS stated that it will take four months after the policy issues are resolved to update the training materials and begin training, and the Commissioner stated in her memorandum that she cannot predict a date by which the decisions relating to general arrest authority will be made and then endorsed by the labor union/management partnership process.
We recognize the inherent difficulties associated with development and endorsement of general arrest authority policies and procedures. However, general arrest authority training has been mandated by law since 1990, and approximately $3.3 million has already been spent on developing this training program. INS needs to promptly address outstanding general arrest authority issues and make the necessary decisions regarding implementation of this training. As an interim measure, please advise us of the plan for making these decisions and formulating the respective policies and procedures. We will resolve this issue when INS advises us that it has made the necessary decisions, formulated the policies and procedures, and have submitted them to the labor union/management partnership process for endorsement.
1 Immigration Officers include Special Agents, Immigration Agents, Deportation Officers, Detention Enforcement Officers, Immigration Inspectors, Other-Than-Permanent Inspectors, Adjudications Officers (formerly called Immigration Examiners), Temporary Examiners, Asylum Officers, and Information Officers.
2 FLETC is a Treasury Department agency. The FLETC staff must assign priorities to training requests from over 70 Federal organizations trained at its facilities and develop training schedules based on these priorities, space availability and funding.
3 The Charleston training center is jointly operated by INS and FLETC but is currently used for INS training only.
4 Student evaluations provide ratings on a five point scale, four indicating good and five very good. We reviewed evaluations for 20 classes at Charleston and 5 classes at Glynco. Evaluations at both sites averaged between four and five for each of the categories of course content, delivery, and overall assessment.
5 Inspection activities at ports of entry are divided between primary inspection lanes and secondary inspection areas. Travellers first arrive at a primary inspection lane. If the travellers' admission into the United States appears problematic, they may be referred to a secondary inspection area for a more in-depth interview.
6 INS operates four service centers to process benefits applications received by mail: the Vermont Service Center; Texas Service Center; Nebraska Service Center; and California Service Center.
7 GAA is divided into Parts A and B. Part A deals with making arrests when the crime is being committed in the presence of the officer while Part B deals with cases when the crime was not committed in the presence of the officer. IMMACT 90 states that training is required before Part B can be placed into effect. However, an August 29,1994, policy memo from the Commissioner of INS stipulates that authority will not be granted to implement any section of GAA regulations until the completion of the training and certification process Servicewide.
8 Module III instruction at FLETC for Immigration Officers includes 32 hours in non-lethal control techniques, 8 hours in the collapsible baton, and 4 hours in oleoresin capsicum spray. Module III does not include instruction in the electronic defense module, also known as the stun gun, which is a device that incapacitates an attacker by providing a high-voltage electric shock. The curriculum planned for general arrest authority training includes 8 hours in the electronic defense module, an additional 12 hours in control and arrest techniques, 8 hours in oleoresin capsicum spray, and 8 hours in the collapsible baton.