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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

INS Fact Sheet

June 27, 2001

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

Operation Global Reach is an extension of the Immigration and Naturalization Service’s (INS) strategy of combating illegal immigration through emphasis on overseas deterrence. It gives INS an important tool to help stem the flow of migrant smuggling at its very source.

INS has established 40 overseas offices with 150 U.S. positions to provide a permanent presence of immigration officers overseas to work on deterring migrant smuggling 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 smuggling,
  • 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.

The 150 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:

Rome District Accra, Ghana London, England
  Athens,Greece Madrid, Spain
  Copenhagen, Denmark Moscow, Russia
  Dublin/Shannon, Ireland Nairobi, Kenya
  Franfurt, Germany New Delhi, India
  Johannesburg, South Africa Rome, Italy
  Islamagbad, Pakistan Vienna, Austria

Bangkok District Bangkok, Thailand Hong Kong
  Beijing, China Manila Philippines
  Guangzhou, China Seoul, Korea
  Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Singapore

Mexico City District Aruba Panama City, Panama
  Ciudad Juarez, Mexico Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  Guatemala City, Guatemala Quito/Guayaquil, Ecuador
  Havana, cuba San Salvador, El Salvador
  Kingston, Jamaica Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  Lima, Peru Tegulcigalpa, Honduras
  Mexico City, Mexico Tijuana, Mexico
  Monterrey, Mexico  

The United States is a primary destination of this traffic, which has grown dramatically in the post-Cold War years. 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 illegal migrant deterrence methods in source and transit countries. Since 1997 when Operation Global Reach was initiated, INS has trained more than 45,000 host country officials and airline personnel in fraudulent document detection and intercepted more than 74,000 fraudulently documented aliens attempting to transit these countries to the United States.

INS is pleased that Congress has recognized the importance of INS’ work overseas and how this strengthened enforcement effort complements the agency’s 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.

INS officers stationed overseas complete an intensive three-week training course 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 –


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