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INS Fact Sheet

 October 17, 2000

 INS ‘Global Reach’ Initiative Counters
Rise of International Migrant Trafficking

On June 17, 1997, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) opened 13 new overseas offices and assigned 45 additional officers to counter the threat of international trafficking in migrants as part of a new initiative called Operation Global Reach. For the first time, INS established a permanent presence of criminal investigators and intelligence analysts overseas to work on deterring migrant trafficking in source and transit countries.

The Global Reach staff focuses on:

  • Training foreign law enforcement and airline officials in identifying fraudulent documents,
  • Improving liaison and cooperation with host country officials to deter migrant trafficking,
  • Developing information for the successful prosecution of alien smugglers in the United States and in host countries, and
  • Strengthening the cooperation of host country migration and law enforcement officials to investigate and prosecute smugglers.

They also work with State Department officials to provide enhanced immigration services to qualified applicants in each host country.

"Operation Global Reach" is an extension of the Administration’s strategy of combating illegal immigration through a new emphasis on deterrence, whether at the Southwest border or overseas. It gives INS an important new tool to help stem the flow of migrant trafficking at its very source.

The 45 officers are supervised by the Office of International Affairs and the three INS overseas district offices in Rome, Bangkok and Mexico City. Since 1997, INS has created 13 new international offices and increased its presence in several of INS’ existing offices:


New Offices

Existing Offices

Rome District

Accra, Ghana

Athens, Greece


Copenhagen, Denmark

Dublin/Shannon, Ireland


Johannesburg, South Africa

Frankfurt, Germany



Lahore, Pakistan



London, England



Moscow, Russia



Nairobi, Kenya



New Delhi, India



Rome, Italy



Vienna, Austria


Bangkok District

Beijing, China

Bangkok, Thailand


Guangzhou, China

Hong Kong


Manila, Philippines

Seoul, Korea





Mexico City District

San Salvador, El Salvador



Guatemala City, Guatemala

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico


Kingston, Jamaica

Havana, Cuba


Lima, Peru

Mexico City, Mexico


Panama City, Panama

Monterrey, Mexico


Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Santo Domingo,


Quito/Guayaquil, Ecuador

Dominican Republic



Tegucigalpa, Honduras



Tijuana, Mexico


This initiative responds to the President’s 1995 directive for interagency efforts to combat migrant trafficking by organized crime syndicates. The United States is a primary destination of this traffic, which has grown dramatically in the post-Cold War years. Since 1995, in cooperation with the State Department, INS has launched numerous initiatives to encourage other countries to criminalize migrant trafficking and work cooperatively with U.S. law enforcement agencies and other regional partners to combat this serious problem.

In addition, INS has undertaken special operations to test various deterrence methods in Latin American source and transit countries. Through eight phases, INS trained more than 8,000 host country officials and airline personnel in fraudulent document detection and intercepted more than 19,000 fraudulently documented aliens attempting to transit these countries to the United States. Global Reach expands on those efforts in targeted countries throughout the world.

INS is very pleased that Congress has recognized the importance of INS’ work overseas and how this strengthened enforcement effort will complement our commitment to safe, legal and orderly migration. It is an effective use of resources to deter individuals from migrating illegally from abroad rather than apprehending and detaining them after they are here.

The 45 officers completed an intensive three-week training course at a State Department facility in Virginia to build on their current expertise. They are all highly trained INS officers—many of whom already have overseas experience and speak two or more languages. All are trained to detect document fraud.

– INS –