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Michael J. Garcia
Former Assistant Secretary for
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 2003-2005

Michael J. Garcia In March 2003 President Bush appointed Michael J. Garcia as the Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in November 2003. Assistant Secretary Garcia led the second largest investigative agency in the Federal Government with over 20,000 employees, including 6,000 investigators, and a budget of more than $4 billion. The ICE mission is to secure the homeland through enforcement of immigration and customs laws and by protecting U.S. commercial aviation and federal facilities.

Garcia served as Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) from December 2002 to February 2003 before it was integrated into the Department of Homeland Security. From August 2001 to November 2002, he was the top federal enforcer of dual-use export control laws as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement.

From 1992 to 2001, Garcia was a federal prosecutor with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. During that time, he prosecuted some of the nation.s highest-profile terrorism cases prior to September 11, 2001, including:

  • The successful prosecution of four defendants for conspiring with Osama bin Laden and 17 others to kill American nationals abroad in the bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
  • The successful prosecution of four defendants in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial.
  • The successful prosecution of Ramzi Ahmed Yousef and two others on charges of planning 48 hours of "terror in the sky" in a conspiracy to plant bombs aboard 12 American passenger aircraft in the Far East. Prior to joining the Office of the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York in 1992, Garcia was a law clerk for New York State Court of Appeals Judge Judith S. Kaye from 1990 to 1992 and was an associate with the Manhattan law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel from 1989 to 1990.
Assistant Secretary Garcia is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton. He received his Master of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary and his Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School, Union University.