Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) International Operations represents the Department of Homeland Security’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad, with more than 400 employees assigned to 80 different overseas locations in 53 countries.

Through its investigative efforts, HSI International Operations works with foreign, federal, state and local law enforcement partners to protect the national security and public safety of the United States by disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations that engage in cross-border crime.

In addition to traditional investigations, International Operations has multiple programs to help protect the homeland and promote national security including those related to export control, human rights abuses, narcotics, weapons and contraband smuggling, financial crime, cybercrime, human trafficking and smuggling, child exploitation, intellectual property theft, transnational gangs, immigration document and benefit fraud, and labor exploitation.

In fiscal year 2020, International Operations was responsible for 2,526 arrests, the seizure of 324,702 pounds of drugs, and the seizure of $292 million worth of currency and real estate. In the same year, HSI International Operations identified and/or rescued 185 endangered minor victims of child exploitation. To combat COVID-19 related fraud, International Operations also seized over one million dollars’ worth of counterfeit and/or smuggled personal protection equipment (PPE) in fiscal year 2020.

To highlight HSI International Operations, its mission and the people who make the office successful, the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) created “International Week,” which begins March 29, and will conclude April 2. For this designated period, International Operations will be on full display. Through text, photos, and video, OPA will showcase the agency’s largest investigative presence overseas, highlighting their service to their country and commitment to supporting ICE’s mission.

Visa Security Program

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), International Operations, through VSP, assigns special agents to diplomatic posts worldwide to conduct law enforcement visa security activities and provide training to Department of State (DOS) Consular Affairs (CA) regarding threats, trends and other topics affecting visa adjudication. The ICE VSP is authorized by Section 428 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and implemented by a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security. VSP operations are currently conducted at 41 visa-issuing posts in 28 countries, the locations of which are Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES).

HSI International Areas of Responsibility

HSI International Areas of Responsibility

International Programs

International Programs

HSI International in Action

ICE, international partners arrest 113 child predators

ICE, international partners arrest 113 child predators

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Brazil, in collaboration with Brazilian authorities in November 2020, arrested 113 alleged child predators across the U.S. and in South America during phase seven of Operation Protected Childhood (OPC VII).

HSI assists NCA in ‘sim swapping’ attack on US celebrities

HSI assists NCA in ‘sim swapping’ attack on US celebrities

NCA, HSI and U.S. investigators uncovered a network of criminals in the UK that hacked the victims’ phone apps and accounts by gaining access to their phone numbers. The perpetrators changed the password on the victims’ phones and were able to steal money, bitcoin and personal information. They also hijacked social media accounts to post content and send messages masquerading as the victim. NCA and U.S. investigators notified individuals when they had been targeted, and where possible, before the criminals managed to cause any damage.


HSI, Australian Federal Police identify 245 victims of child exploitation by predator posing as popular YouTube star (HSI Badge image)

HSI, Australian Federal Police identify 245 victims of child exploitation by predator posing as popular YouTube star

An investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) resulted in the arrest of a 25-year-old Australian citizen who is now facing a total of 247 charges related to 245 alleged child victims in the United States.

ICE Cartagena opens forensic lab to combat transnational cyber crime

ICE Cartagena opens forensic lab to combat transnational cyber crime

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is receiving computer forensics equipment from HSI Cyber Crime Center (C3) that will support criminal investigations in the city of Cartagena, Columbia, and the surrounding region. The creation of Transnational Cyber Crimes Investigative Laboratory (TC2IL) is critical to supporting the fight against the sexual exploitation of children and disrupting transnational crimes.



10 International Operations Facts

Highlights

International Operations maintains 68 attaché offices and eight Department of Defense liaison officers in 51 countries focusing on terrorists and criminal organizations that engage in human smuggling and trafficking; trafficking of narcotics, money, weapons and sensitive technologies; and sexual exploitation of children, including child sex tourism. HSI’s International Operations partners with foreign and domestic counterparts – including INTERPOL, EUROPOL, and the WCO – to conduct international law enforcement operations and to support removals from the United States.

Updated: 07/02/2021