Guidelines For INS Undercover Operations --
Sections (Parts 1-4)
- The Immigration and Naturalization Service's (INS's) use of undercover
operations is a lawful and essential technique for the detection and
investigation of alien-smuggling conspiracies, fraudulent document offenses,
other violations of federal law within the jurisdiction of the INS. Since
technique inherently involves an element of deception and occasionally
a degree of cooperation with persons whose motivation and conduct are open
question, it should be carefully considered and monitored.
- A "cooperating private individual" is a person who is not employed by
INS but whose activities are directed by an INS employee.
- "Otherwise illegal activity" is activity that would constitute a crime
under federal, state, or local law if engaged in by a person acting without
approval or authorization of an appropriate Government official.
- An "undercover employee" is any employee of the INS -- or employee of a
federal, state, or local law enforcement agency working under the direction
control of the INS in a particular investigation -- whose relationship with
INS is concealed from third parties in the course of an investigative
by the maintenance of a cover or alias identity.
- An "undercover operation" is any investigative operation in which an
undercover employee or cooperating private individual is used.
- A "proprietary" is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or
other business entity owned or controlled by the INS which is used in
with an undercover operation when the entity's relationship with the INS is
- GENERAL AUTHORITY
- The INS may conduct undercover operations pursuant to these
when such operations advance the enforcement of criminal statutes assigned
investigatory jurisdiction of the INS or when otherwise appropriate to
out the Service's investigative function.
- Under this authority, the INS may participate in joint undercover
operations with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies;
seek operational assistance for an undercover operation from any suitable
informant, confidential source, or other cooperating private individual; and
operate a proprietary on a commercial basis to the extent necessary to
an operation's cover or effectiveness.
- AUTHORIZATION OF UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS
- All undercover operations under these guidelines fall into one of
categories: (1) those undercover operations which must be authorized by the
Commissioner with the concurrence of the Assistant Attorney General for the
Criminal Division; (2) those which must be authorized by the appropriate
Commissioner; and (3) those which must be approved by the appropriate
Director or Chief Patrol Agent. In general, the graver the risk of harm or
intrusiveness, the higher the approval level required. Of course, in
an undercover operation, these risks of harm and intrusion will be avoided
whenever possible unless such avoidance would unduly interfere with
evidence in a timely and effective manner.