2007-2008 Season

Enforcement of our Immigration and Customs Laws: Leveling the Playing Field for Law-Abiding Companies

The Honorable Julie  Myers

The Honorable Julie Myers
Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

View Biography

Assistant Secretary Myers discussed the federal government's efforts to protect the American people by enforcing the nation's immigration and customs laws. As head of the Department of Homeland Security's largest investigative component, Ms. Myers highlighted the increase of ICE efforts to expand worksite compliance by business owners and managers. This includes combating "domestic outsourcing," the spreading practice of filling jobs in America with workers in the United States illegally.

“We’re all familiar with the concern that many raise about the outsourcing of jobs to workers in foreign lands, who work cheaper than American workers for a whole variety of reasons. This is one of the consequences of today’s global economy, and many argue that it has its plusses and its minuses. Using illegal aliens as part of a domestic off-shoring scheme, on the other hand, is without any positive benefit to American businesses and workers. Companies that build their workforce using illegal workers here in the United States – they take jobs away from legal workers, they unfairly gain market shares over legitimate businesses, they often disregard worker safety and environmental laws, and they shift the tax burden onto those who follow the law."

Assistant Secretary Myers also discussed the agency's priority to ensure consumer product safety and safeguard American intellectual property rights. “It’s estimated that counterfeiting and piracy costs the United States economy as much as $250 billion a year, and as many as 750,000 American jobs. That’s the equivalent of the total number of people it takes to sell out Comerica Park 18 times. To counteract the threat from substandard, tainted, and counterfeit products, we are working in close partnership with the Food and Drug Administration, Customs and Border Protection, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the United States Postal Commission in a venture we call “Operation Guardian.”

"Using our collective resources, we are much better able to interdict and investigate such materials before they reach consumers. And in fact, working closely with our DHS colleagues at United States Customs and Border Protection, we made nearly 14,000 seizures in fiscal year 2007. Together, we seized about $200 million in counterfeit goods, an increase of 27 percent over the previous year. That’s a good start, but it’s only a beginning. Through Operation Guardian, we expect to make significant improvement in stopping the traffic in substandard, tainted, and counterfeit goods. And that, in turn, should help put an important dent in organized crime, which has been moving more and more into this line of criminal activity."
  • Meeting Date: Monday, April 07, 2008
  • Time: 12:00 p.m.
  • Location: Dearborn Inn Marriott


The Honorable Terri Lynn  Land

The Honorable Terri Lynn Land Secretary of State
State of Michigan


Speaker Biography

The Honorable Julie Myers   Julie Myers is the assistant secretary of homeland security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She leads the largest investigative component of the Department of Homeland Security and the second largest investigative agency in the federal government, with more than 15,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $5 billion.

IICE is comprised of five integrated divisions (Detention and Removal Operations, Investigations, Federal Protective Service, Intelligence and International Affairs) that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. During the first 12 months of Ms. Myers' leadership ICE set new records for enforcement activity, including ending the long-standing practice of “catch and release” for apprehended illegal immigrants.

The opportunity to lead ICE was achieved through Ms. Myers' progressive record of service to our nation. From federal trial attorney through successive leadership positions with the departments of Treasury, Justice, Commerce and now Homeland Security, she has brought to ICE broad experience and knowledge of federal law enforcement. The United States Senate confirmed her appointment as assistant secretary on December 19, 2007.

Her previous positions in federal government leadership roles include service as assistant secretary for Export Enforcement at the Department of Commerce, chief of staff for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice and deputy assistant secretary for Money Laundering and Financial Crimes at the Treasury Department. Ms. Myers' first position in federal government enforcing the law was as an assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where she prosecuted a variety of criminal cases, including narcotics violations, financial crimes, immigration violations, securities fraud, and other white collar criminal cases. Before entering government service, Ms. Myers was an associate at Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago, Ill. She also clerked for the Honorable C. Arlen Beam of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit.

Ms. Myers earned a bachelor's degree at Baylor University and became an attorney following graduation from Cornell Law School. She is a native of Shawnee, Kan.