Our thoughts are with the victims of yesterday’s horrific shootings in San Bernardino, and with their families.
On November 10, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña, and DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy Alan Bersin met with Korean Minister of Justice Kim Hyun-Woong and Deputy Minister of Justice Jin Kyung-Joon to discuss a range of shared homeland security-related issues, including law enforcement collaboration, the facilitation of legitimate travel, and efforts to support the repatriation of stolen assets.
I congratulate all the law enforcement personnel who participated in Operation Safe Haven. Today, more than a year of hard work has paid off, and those responsible for perpetrating modern day slavery in the United States are being brought to justice.
To be sure, I am disappointed that our efforts to improve employee satisfaction at DHS were not reflected Department-wide in this year’s results of the Federal Employee Viewpoint survey. I am disappointed but not discouraged. We will not give up. We know that improving employee satisfaction across a 22-component, 240,000-person department takes time.
I commend the great work of our special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which is part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. HSI worked with law enforcement authorities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico to take down a human smuggling network suspected of illegally smuggling hundreds of individuals each week – including children and families – throughout Central America and Mexico into the United States.
On Aug. 31, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson will travel to McAllen, Texas to receive a briefing on efforts of the Department’s three Joint Task Forces, JTF – East, JTF – West and JTF Investigations, and to discuss the Department’s Southern Border and Approaches Campaign Plan, the unified border security effort between U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
Fourteen years after its reported theft from a Paris museum, a Pablo Picasso painting was returned to France to this week. The repatriation of “La Coiffeusse” follows an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) as a part of Operation Toile.
That is why, as part of the executive actions the President announced last November, we ended the controversial Secure Communities program. This was a program by which our immigration personnel lodged orders known as “detainers” to hold individuals in local jails, so that they could be handed directly over to federal authorities for enforcement purposes after their time in local custody. The goal of the program was to make it easier to identify and remove convicted criminals. But, in many instances the program led to the transfer of those who had been in this country for years, and had simply been picked up and charged with a minor offense, without a conviction. As a result, the Secure Communities program became embroiled in political and legal controversy. And, in reaction, a rapidly expanding list of city, county and state governments enacted laws and directives that limit or outright prohibit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement personnel. The consequences nationwide have, regrettably, included notorious cases in which dangerous individuals on whom we placed detainers were released to the streets, and committed more serious crimes.
DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sara Saldaña, and ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Executive Associate Director Peter Edge cut the ribbon on the newly expanded ICE Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, VA. The expanded center will provide ICE HSI with enhanced operational and training capabilities, helping to meet the growing cyber mission of the agency and fight cybercrime.