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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.

Counter Proliferation Investigations Program

The Counter Proliferation Investigations Program oversees a broad range of investigations related to preventing terrorist groups from obtaining U.S. military technology, weapons of mass destruction, or chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials. It also enforces U.S. laws involving the export of controlled materials to sanctioned or embargoed countries. View the Counter Proliferation Investigations Program page for more information.

Export Enforcement Coordination Center

The Export Enforcement Coordination Center serves as the primary force within the federal government to coordinate U.S. export control enforcement efforts. The center was created by Executive Order 13558. View the Export Enforcement Coordination Center page for more information.

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 Integration Center

The National Security Integration Center focuses on federal and interagency partner coordination in order to protect the homeland. The center's Visa Security Section screens and vets visa applications as mandated by ICE's Visa Security Program by use of the Pre Adjudicated Threat Recognition Intelligence Operations Team (PATRIOT). PATRIOT automates the initial screening of non-immigrant visa (NIV) application information against DHS holdings and in coordination with partner agencies. National Security Investigations Division (NSID) VSS agents and analysts working PATRIOT coordinate their findings with ICE International Operations (IO) VSP agents and partner agencies.

National Security Unit

The National Security Unit combines the HSI's national security and counterterrorism efforts into a single force. The unit has oversight of all counterterrorism investigations within ICE and works directly with the National Security Council and ICE senior leadership to carry out interagency policy.

The unit's Counterterrorism Section oversees HSI special agents assigned to Joint Terrorism Task Forces and uses ICE's unique authorities in counterterrorism investigations to shut down terrorist networks. The unit's National Security Threat Section is co-located with U.S. Customs and Border Protection's National Targeting Center – Passenger. The section provides information to Joint Terrorism Task Force special agents and attachés. Additionally, the National Security Threat Section maintains relationship with the intelligence community, the National Counterterrorism Center, the Terrorist Screening Center and the Terrorist Screening Operations Unit.

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: 01/03/2018