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National Security Investigations Division


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HSI Agent overlooking city sky line
ICE Agents examining evidence

HSI's National Security Investigations Division leads its effort to combat criminal enterprises by investigating vulnerabilities in the nation's border, infrastructure and economic and transportation systems. It also prevents acts of terrorism by targeting people, money and materials that support terrorist and criminal activities. The division's mission is strengthened by the unique investigative authorities that HSI commands.

Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit

The Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit investigates nonimmigrant visa holders who violate their immigration status. The unit places the highest priority on monitoring the activities of suspected terrorists and combating criminal exploitation of the nation's student visa system. The unit accomplishes its mission though research and analysis, targeted operations, special initiatives and leveraging of expertise with partner agencies. View the Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit page for more information.

Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit

The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit pursues foreign war criminals, persecutors and human rights abusers who seek shelter from justice in the United States. The unit also oversees the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center, which consists of HSI special agents and intelligence research specialists, special agents and intelligence analysts from the FBI's Genocide and War Crimes Unit and attorneys and historians from ICE's Office of the Principal Legal Advisor. View the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit for more information.

National Security Unit

The National Security Unit (NSU) is HSI's primary element that integrates and synchronizes operational equities, intelligence information, support, and policy efforts into a single, overarching unit to mitigate and combat threats to national security.  NSU maintains programmatic oversight of all HSI engagement on the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTF)  nationwide, manages HSI's counterterrorism professional development training, and provides operational coordination and support to all JTTF International Terrorism investigations and threat streams within ICE.  NSU is also responsible for developing, coordinating, facilitating, and implementing policies in support of advancing HSI's and the U.S. government's national security mission.

National Security Liaisons

National Security Liaisons are senior HSI personnel who coordinate investigative activity under assignments to various federal agencies and departments. As part of the National Security Investigations Division, liaisons are essential to establishing partnerships and developing close and cooperative working relationships with HSI's partner agencies.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program manages information on foreign students and exchange visitors in the United States. The program uses the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System to monitor schools, active nonimmigrant students, exchange visitors and dependents approved to participate in the U.S. education system. The goal of the program is to ensure that those who seek to harm our nation are excluded from entering, while legitimate students, researchers and exchange visitors are welcomed. The balance between open doors and protecting the country's national security is at the heart of the program's mission. View the Student and Exchange Visitor Program page for more information.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 07/03/2019