International Affairs

The Office of International Affairs, housed within ICE's Homeland Security Investigations, enhances national security by conducting and coordinating investigations involving transnational criminal organizations and serving as the agency's liaison to counterparts in local government and law enforcement. The office protects America's borders and enhances national security and public safety by investigating, disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations that engage in all types of smuggling. This includes narcotics, money, weapons, sensitive technologies, as well as the smuggling and trafficking of human beings. The Office of International Affairs also investigates the criminal threats that transnational criminal organizations pose to America's legitimate commercial trade, travel and financial systems through trade fraud and intellectual property theft; the diversion of military weapons, munitions and sensitive technologies; international money laundering and financial fraud; immigration fraud; forced child labor; and child sex tourism and the sexual exploitation of children.

ICE has 73 offices in 47 foreign countries around the world with more than 380 government and contract personnel committed to the agency's mission. The attachés within the office direct operations and serve as the agency's liaisons to their local government and law enforcement counterparts. Their responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating investigations with foreign law enforcement counterparts;
  • Providing training and capacity building to foreign law enforcement counterparts;
  • Assisting in removal operations by facilitating ICE efforts to repatriate removable aliens; and
  • Referring requests from host country agencies to ICE domestic investigative offices.

Recent News

8/25/2011 Washington, DC ICE statement on internal screening criteria and processes

2/12/2013 Detroit, MI Auction house owner arrested for illegal sale of Korean artifact

1/8/2013 Toledo, OH Transfer ceremony clears way for illegally looted ancient vessel to be returned to Italy

12/28/2012 New York, NY Florida man pleads guilty in New York to smuggling dinosaur fossils

12/21/2012 Newark, NJ 4 men arrested for conspiring to sell stolen firearms purported to belong to Saddam Hussein family

12/20/2012 Baghdad, International HSI conducts training conference on countering antiquities trafficking in Iraq

12/7/2012 Houston, TX HSI Houston special agents seize stolen 16th century tapestry

Read more news about Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Investigations or Human Rights Violators


HSI's Office of International Affairs protects the United States and its interests from illicit goods, people and money by conducting multi-faceted, international law enforcement operations and removals. We partner with foreign and domestic counterparts to detect, deter and dismantle transnational criminal organizations and prevent terrorist activities. The office:

  • Supports domestic investigations and removals;
  • Builds and maintains relationships; and
  • Builds capacity through outreach and training.


Assistant Director, International Affairs, Peter VincentPeter S. Vincent
Acting Assistant Director, Office of International Affairs

Peter S. Vincent is the acting assistant director for the Office of International Affairs (OIA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Vincent brings substantial international experience to this post. He served as the Department of Justice's (DOJ) judicial attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. There, he advised DOJ, the U.S. Department of State and various law enforcement and intelligence-gathering agencies on matters concerning extradition, terrorist organizations and narco-trafficking.

Mr. Vincent also serves as ICE's principal legal advisor.

Vision Statement

HSI's Office of International Affairs strives to become the primary component for the Department of Homeland Security international law enforcement operations. Our organization will remain flexible to meet the ever-changing challenges and threats in the global environment by attracting the best of our profession, fostering teamwork and valuing innovation.


OIA's personnel are divided among International Operations and Special Operations. View OIA's organization chart, and find area-specific contact information below.


Email Contact

International Operations

Canada and Mexico

South America and Caribbean

Middle East and Africa



Special Operations

Click on the image below to access an interactive map that conveys OIA's worldwide presence and provides contact information for the attaché offices.

Related ICE Offices and Programs

Leveraging HSI's broad investigative authorities, the office's headquarters personnel and attachés collaborate with a variety of HSI global programs and initiatives to facilitate legitimate and prevent illegitimate travel, immigration, and trade. These programs include:

Bulk Cash Smuggling

The HSI Bulk Cash Smuggling Center identifies, investigates and disrupts bulk cash smuggling activities around the world and trains local law enforcement partners on investigative techniques.

Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities

Returning a nation's looted cultural heritage or stolen artwork promotes goodwill with foreign governments and citizens while protecting the world's cultural heritage and knowledge of past civilizations. Federal importation laws give HSI the authority to lead investigations involving the illicit importation and distribution of cultural property, art and antiquities. The Office of International Affairs leads the execution of many of these investigations through specially-trained, internationally-assigned investigators who coordinate with private institutions and foreign governments, in addition to domestic HSI investigators' coordination with federal, state, and local agencies.

Cyber Crimes Center

The Cyber Crimes Center brings together HSI special agents, intelligence research specialists and others who support HSI crime investigations tied to the Internet. The center integrates the full range of HSI computer and forensic assets in a single location and has three operational components, focusing on child exploitation, computer forensics and other cybercrime.

Foreign Political Corruption Task Force

This HSI task force is dedicated to locating individuals who were members of foreign governments or financial industries that have fled to the United States and their ill-gotten funds. In most cases, recovered assets are repatriated to the foreign countries through asset sharing agreements.

Foreign Fugitives

Foreign fugitives are individuals wanted in other countries, for any crime, who have violated immigration law in order to be in the United States. In cases where the subject is already in removal proceedings or has no status in the United States, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) has the case authority.

Forensic Document Laboratory

HSI's Forensic Document Laboratory provides a broad range of forensic, intelligence and investigative support services for ICE, DHS and many other U.S. and foreign law enforcement agencies. This laboratory is accredited as a crime laboratory.

Human Smuggling & Trafficking Center

The Human Smuggling & Trafficking Center is an HSI-led multi-agency effort that seeks to bridge the gap between the intelligence community and law enforcement regarding information and intelligence related to human smuggling and trafficking. Additionally, the center seeks to identify priority subjects for human smuggling and trafficking investigations and build case support information for investigations into them.

Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center

The Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center is an HSI-led task force made up of 21 federal agencies with a vested interest in intellectual property enforcement. Member agencies share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and present a "one-stop shop" for U.S. expertise and contacts on intellectual property crimes and enforcement of intellectual property rights for businesses.

International Agreements and Arrangements Program

In collaboration with ICE's Office of the Principal Legal Advisor and other DHS and U.S. government agencies, this program, which is housed within the Office of International Affairs, manages the process of drafting, negotiating and concluding international agreements and arrangements that support HSI's investigative mission, including customs mutual assistance agreements, letters of intent, memoranda of cooperation and memoranda of understanding.

International Visitors Program

The Office of International Affairs cultivates and maintains important contacts with foreign counterparts through this program. These visits facilitate the exchange of information and strengthen professional relationships with international law enforcement agencies and senior government officials resulting in more successful HSI investigations abroad. Ultimately, the opportunity to address key border and investigative issues aids HSI and our allies in the joint efforts to promote security worldwide.

Law Enforcement Paroles

In support of law enforcement activities – usually to testify or in support of investigative activity, HSI paroles individuals into the United States who would otherwise be ineligible for a visa or entry into the United States. The program is tightly controlled through central points of contact throughout law enforcement agencies.

Personnel Recovery Unit

The Office of International Affair's Personnel Recovery Unit focuses on four areas of responsibility to enable ICE employees and their family members to prepare for, prevent, respond to and survive isolating events overseas. These areas include: Program Management and Communications; Operations Support; Training and Equipment; and Analysis and Reporting.


ERO coordinates with HSI in the repatriation process to ensure that other countries accept the return of their nationals in accordance with international law. ERO also coordinates with HSI and host countries to implement tools and procedures to expedite the return process.

Trade Transparency Unit

HSI, in cooperation with the Departments of State and Treasury, established this initiative to protect the integrity and security of the U.S. economy by targeting and eliminating systemic vulnerabilities in commercial trade and in the financial and transportation sectors, which are susceptible to exploitation by criminal and terrorist organizations.

Visa Security Program

The Visa Security Program deploys seasoned HSI special agents with specialized visa security experience to embassies and consulates. These special agents coordinate with consular officers to screen, vet and investigate visa applicants to identify potential criminal or terrorist threats.

Transnational Criminal Investigative Units

The Office of International Affairs manages the Transnational Criminal Investigative Units, which are multi-disciplined units comprised of foreign prosecutors and law enforcement, customs, immigration and intelligence officials who are vetted to ensure that shared information and operational activities are not compromised. The units provide operational support to ICE personnel stationed overseas who do not possess law enforcement authorities abroad. ICE works with these units to conduct foreign operations and investigations overseas in compliance with host country laws, agreements, treaties and U.S. mission policies.

Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program

The Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program is an Office of International Affairs-led program that offers the capability to search, enroll and identify known or suspected terrorists, violent international gang members and other individuals of interest. Executed in foreign countries, this program leverages the three primary U.S. biometric databases – with host government coordination - in order to identify and mitigate threats to the United States and its foreign partners.

Partnership with Interpol Washington, the U.S. National Central Bureau

HSI special agents provide leadership and serve as points of contact at Interpol Washington's U.S. National Central Bureau. This partnership enhances ICE's access to the international law enforcement authorities in the 189 other member countries of Interpol. Interpol Washington is Interpol's national point of contact and provides 24/7/365 secure communications and access to Interpol's services. These services facilitate international police communications in support of U.S. efforts to combat transnational crime and terrorism and to enhance national security. In accordance with a Departments of Justice and Homeland Security memorandum of understanding, the U.S. National Central Bureau directorship rotates between the two departments and reports directly to the deputy attorney general and the deputy secretary. Also, the bureau's deputy director - currently an HSI special agent - succeeds the director for a three-year rotation at the Senior Executive Service level. The Office of International Affairs currently maintains three positions at Interpol, which include the deputy director of the U.S. National Central Bureau, who will soon be the director , assistant director, and program manager/liaison.