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).