The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established on November 25, 2002, by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. DHS has a vital mission: With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values. Within DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the former U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. ICE now has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries.
HSI is the investigative arm of DHS and is a vital U.S. asset in combating criminal organizations illegally exploiting America's travel, trade, financial and immigration systems. HSI’s workforce includes special agents, analysts, auditors and support staff. Its men and women are assigned to cities throughout the U.S. and to offices around the world. HSI’s international force is the department’s largest investigative presence abroad and gives HSI one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
HSI enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety. HSI has a broad legal authority to enforce a diverse array of federal statutes. It uses this authority to investigate all types of cross-border criminal activity, including:
* Financial crimes, money laundering and bulk cash smuggling
* Commercial fraud and intellectual property theft
* Human rights violations
* Human smuggling and trafficking
* Immigration, document and benefit fraud
* Narcotics and weapons smuggling/trafficking
* Transnational gang activity
* Export enforcement; and International art and antiquity theft.