D.C. – U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement says it made a record number
of criminal arrests in fiscal year 2019. They included arrests for crimes such
as 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 Investigations says they made 37,547 criminal arrests in FY 2019 and
seized more than $775 million in assets. Under President Donald J. Trump, the
agency has ramped up efforts to combat international crime on multiple fronts.
This year’s arrest numbers represent an increase of nearly 10% from last year
and nearly 15% from FY 2016 when Trump took office.
arrested 5,750 criminals associated with human smuggling investigations in
FY19, a 41 percent increase from FY18, due in part to the use of Rapid DNA
testing technology to detect fraudulent families at the Southwest border.
During FY19, over 400 HSI personnel deployed to the southern border to protect
children from being smuggled into the United States through fraudulent family
units, often tied to larger transnational criminal syndicates.
FY19, HSI arrested 2,197 criminals associated with human trafficking, a 38
percent increase from FY18, as well as identified and/or assisted 428 victims
of human trafficking in FY19, a 39 percent increase from the previous year. HSI
uses a victim-centered approach in its trafficking investigations, where equal
value is placed on both the identification and stabilization of victims and
prosecution of the traffickers. HSI also developed the Strategic Trafficking
Outreach Program (S.T.O.P.) to educate and raise awareness as well as how to
report instances of suspected trafficking.
saw a record-breaking year in narcotics enforcement by leveraging partnerships
and using a variety of task forces, including its Border Enforcement Security
Taskforce (BEST). HSI seized more than 12,450 lbs. of opioids in FY19 – a
record-breaking amount – exceeding FY18 seizures by more than 2,500 lbs. HSI
also seized more than 3,600 lbs. of fentanyl and made more than 1,900
fentanyl-related arrests in FY19, which are both substantially higher than FY18
figures. HSI also seized more than 145,000 lbs. of methamphetamine in FY19.
and benefit fraud pose a severe threat to national security. HSI leads 36
Document and Benefit Fraud Task Forces (DBFTF) across the country to combat
this fraudulent activity. HSI made 2,198 arrests tied to identity and benefit
fraud in FY19, a nearly 75 percent increase from FY18.
also continued its fight against child predators and transnational gangs in
FY19. In FY19, HSI arrested 3,957 child predators as well as rescued or
identified 1,069 victims. HSI also made 3,886 criminal gang arrests,
including 337 criminal arrests of MS-13 gang members during the same timeframe.
the noteworthy cases highlighted by ICE in their official statement were the
conviction of Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, also known as Mexican drug
cartel boss “El Chapo” and separately a seizure of 17 tons of cocaine.
report also highlighted another seizure of 30 kilograms of fentanyl, 30
kilograms of heroin, 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than $700,000 in cash
during a three-day takedown which resulted in 35 arrests.
overall quantity of fentanyl seized by ICE HSI is more than enough to kill
every man, woman and child in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Maine, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers made a string of high
profile arrests through the spring, summer and fall under the leadership of
Chief Patrol Agent Jason Owens.
agency has faced angry opposition from many politicians and left-wing groups
across the nation, with calls for them to be abolished.
for Accountable Leadership is perhaps best known for their efforts to injure
Senator Susan Collins’ re-election campaign, helping raise millions of dollars
to oppose her and routinely protesting at the Senator’s offices.
who have called for ICE to be abolished include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,
Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York City
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Senator Bernie Sanders.
Rep. Chellie Pingree has leveled withering criticism at the agency but stopped short of calling for ICE to be abolished.