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December 23, 2022Washington, DC, United StatesPartnership and Engagement, National Security, Organized Crime

NDAA includes measures supporting HSI Transnational Criminal Investigative Units

TCIUs key component in preventing illicit activity from reaching US borders

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed today by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. included key measures to enable the agency’s critical homeland security missions. This act allows Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to pay international vetted units, or Transnational Criminal Investigative Units (TCIU), a salary stipend on top of the basic pay earned for duties performed similar to the capabilities of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

HSI’s TCIUs assist with furthering its global mission, working with foreign partners to investigate and prosecute people involved in transnational criminal activities that threaten the region’s stability and national security and who pose continuing threats to the United States. TCIUs identify targets, collect evidence, share intelligence, and facilitate prosecution in the United States and foreign countries.

“I am pleased by the overwhelming support demonstrated by lawmakers to improve our ability as an agency to support our global mission,” said ICE Acting Director Tae D. Johnson. “TCIUs perform an essential role to promote HSI’s investigations and aids in the disruption and dismantlement of the transnational criminal organizations that pose a direct threat to national and border security. This authorization will enhance the effectiveness of our international efforts by helping incentivize the talent we have, while recruiting the force we need.”

“TCIUs are a vital element of HSI’s strategy to combat transnational crime. Through the TCIU program, HSI special agents and their foreign law enforcement partners jointly investigate human smuggling and trafficking, narcotics smuggling, weapons trafficking, cybercrime, money laundering, and other public safety and national security threats to both the United States and partner countries,” said HSI Acting Executive Associate Director Steve Francis. “This authority underscores the value of the work HSI accomplishes with its international partners.”

The TCIU program was launched Sept. 27, 2011 and has more than 500 vetted and trained foreign law enforcement officers in 14 locations across North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Asia. In FY 2022, the 14 units were responsible for conducting over 3,800 criminal arrests, rescuing 175 victims, and seizing almost $57 million in currency and criminally derived assets. TCIUs also seized over 349,000 pounds of narcotics and precursor chemicals.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI’s mission on Twitter @HSI_HQ.