December 3, 2020

ICE, HSI tout record number of criminal arrests for Fiscal Year 2019

2019 has been a massively successful year for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and one of the Department of Homeland Security’s key investigative arms.

According to a news release from ICE, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division achieved record success during the 2019 fiscal year, tallying record-breaking totals across the board, including over 35,000 criminal arrests. 

The numbers are in

On Friday, ICE announced the impressive results attained over the past year. The main number that stands out is the total of 37,547 criminal arrests made during that time period.

“During fiscal year 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) effectively combated transnational criminal threats against the United States resulting in a record-breaking number of criminal arrests,” the agency statement reads. Notably, this represents a nearly 10% increase from the previous fiscal year.

This staggering number of arrests includes 5,750 individuals allegedly involved in human smuggling, 2,197 accused of human trafficking, 3,957 accused of child predation, 2,198 tied to identity and benefit fraud, and 3,886 for alleged involvement in gang-related violations, according to Cleveland’s 19News. But, let’s not forget about the victims: during the course of the year the agency “identified and/or assisted 428 victims of human trafficking” and “rescued or identified 1,069 victims” of child predation.

These numbers mark significant gains for the HSI, according to The Epoch Times. The agency also announced the seizure of more than $775 million in currency and assets as a result of its operations.

The investigators

Although most are familiar with the function and purpose of ICE, its HSI arm is less well known, but it is a significant driver of these astounding numbers.

“HSI is the principal investigative component of the Department of Homeland Security with more than 9,800 employees, including over 6,700 special agents and 700 intelligence analysts, assigned to more than 210 cities throughout the U.S. as well as 78 offices in 52 countries,” the agency explained.

The criminal activity that HSI investigates is extremely wide-ranging. The list includes “financial crimes, bulk cash smuggling, cybercrimes, exploitation of children and child sex tourism, weapons smuggling and export enforcement, trade crimes such as commercial fraud and intellectual property theft, human smuggling and trafficking, narcotics smuggling and trafficking, identity and benefit fraud, human rights violations, transnational gang activity, counterterrorism and visa security.”

As the aforementioned statistics demonstrate, HSI is excelling across the board.

“Everyday heroes”

ICE and HSI’s recent report was lauded by Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf. “Great work by [ICE’s] Homeland Security Investigations team,” he said. “They lead US efforts to protect children from online predators. Everyday heroes protecting our most vulnerable.”

Indeed, thanks to ICE and HSI, Americans can rest assured that aggressive work is being done each and every day to protect national security and public safety both here and around the world.

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