Understanding the Identification and Treatment of Special Interest Aliens (SIA)


In 2014, a rogue wave of children and families from Central America overwhelmed our Border Patrol agents (BPAs) on our southwest border. To the government, they are known as “OTMs” the abbreviation for “Other Than Mexican.” The circumstances of their arrival are intriguing in that unlike other illegal aliens, the vast majority of OTMs promptly turned themselves in. Why is not known for certain. There can be no doubt, however, that the scheme has given Mexican drug cartels and—potentially—terrorists a propitious opportunity to simply step over the invisible line that is our border undetected by BTAs because the agents processing the new arrivals could not man their posts.

This paper focuses not on OTMs, per se, but rather a subset tagged “Special Interest Aliens” (SIAs) by the Department of Homeland Security. They come from “Special Interest Countries,” (SICs). SIAs are illegal-immigrants who are believed to be terrorists. They are planning attacks against us, and they are a force with which we will have to reckon.  This paper will explain who they are, from what countries they come and how they may be about to launch a devastating strike. To doubt that is an error. To ignore it is lunacy. To allow it to happen is tyranny. That—unfortunately—is the new status quo.

The Agencies and Departments Watching Our Border

The number of governmental entities assigned to watch our borders, waterways, skies, social media and overall defense is truly remarkable and gargantuan when considered together. Just a quick glance at the list of departments and agencies gives one a sense of the magnitude of the just how serious illegal immigration is—and this does not address illegal aliens already in country. Explaining the raison d’être of each exceeds the scope of this paper, but can be seen in Appendix A. These agencies and departments primarily focused on day-to-day illegal immigration at the borders are:  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS); US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); US Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and the U.S. Coast Guard.[1]

The Department of Homeland Security is the tip of the organizational spear when it comes to protecting the nation against terror attacks. It was formed eleven days after 9/11. Ex-Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was the first director and, after it was established as a Cabinet-level department, he served as its first secretary. In cobbling it together, Ridge had to navigate the rough waters of entrenched bureaucracies and cultures to form the new defensive entity all under one umbrella, an arrangement from which many agents are still irked to this day. One of its numerous key initiatives was to find and break down the Chinese walls that had thwarted data and information sharing by our many intelligence agencies since WW II and throughout the Cold War.[2] Prior to 9/11, intelligence gathering had been highly territorial (as mandated by law) with the FBI concentrating on domestic intelligence and law enforcement and the CIA being responsible for collecting international information (even though they sometimes worked together and crossed paths).

At its inception, Ridge encountered numerous databases. Had the information within them been in one or two or crosschecked they may have thwarted the 9/11 attacks.  Clearly, departments, agencies and databases had to be merged and then imported into newer and better-designed electronic repositories that enabled the various departments to access shared information far more swiftly.[3] While some databases are separate out of necessity, they are available to the important overseers of our safety and are housed in central places. In addition to databases, then Director Ridge had to pluck previously independent or semi-independent agencies and groups out from under other agencies and departments that had put down decades-old roots and transplant them into DHS soil.[4]

In November of 2000 the Homeland Security Act was passed and signed and DHS became an official department which opened its new doors on March 1, 2003.[5] After Secretary Ridge resigned, Michael Chertoff took the helm on February 15, 2005. Under the Second Stage Review, Secretary Chertoff tasked 18 action teams and 250 members of DHS to evaluate the structures, policies and procedures in place and to determine if they had been properly assigned with clear missions. They also teamed up with public and private partners at the federal, state, local, tribal and international levels. The end result of the study and reorganization comprised a Six Point Agenda that addressed the following:

1. Increase overall preparedness, particularly for catastrophic events;
2. Create better transportation security systems to move people and cargo more securely and efficiently;
3. Strengthen border security and interior enforcement and reform immigration processes;
4. Enhance information sharing with our partners;
5. Improve DHS financial management, human resource development, procurement an information technology;
6. Realign the DHS organization to maximize mission performance.[6]

In addition, there was an initiative to “Centralize and Improve Policy Development and Coordination.” On the Department of Homeland Security website are listed the actions needed to form a Directorate of Policy, which was created to:

  • be the primary Department-wide coordinator for policies, regulations, and other initiatives
  • ensure consistency of policy and regulatory development across the department
  • perform long-range strategic policy planning
  • assume the policy coordination functions previously performed by the Border and Transportation Security (BTS) Directorate
  • include Office of International Affairs, Office of Private Sector Liaison, Homeland Security Advisory Council, Office of Immigration Statistics, and the Senior Asylum Officer.”

Strengthen Intelligence Functions and Information Sharing.

“A new Office of Intelligence and Analysis was developed to ensure that information is:

gathered from all relevant field operations and other parts of the intelligence community
analyzed with a mission-oriented focus
informative to senior decision-makers
disseminated to the appropriate federal, state, local, and private sector partners led by a Chief Intelligence Officer reporting directly to the Secretary.”[7]

In an effort to forge greater cooperation and to eliminate some of the territorial issues that lingered still, Secretary Chertoff and his team developed an initiative to “Improve Coordination and Efficiency of Operations.” Chertoff assigned a new Director of Operations Coordination to conduct joint operations across all organizational elements

  • coordinate incident management activities
  • use all resources within the Department to translate intelligence and policy into immediate action
  • The Homeland Security Operations Center, which serves as the nation’s nerve center for information sharing and domestic incident management on a 24/7/365 basis, [is] a critical part of this new office.”

“Enhance Coordination and Deployment of Preparedness Assets. The Directorate for Preparedness was created to  consolidate preparedness assets from across the Department

  • facilitate grants and oversee nationwide preparedness efforts supporting first responder training, citizen awareness, public health, infrastructure and cyber security and ensure proper steps are taken to protect high-risk targets
  • focus on cyber security and telecommunications
  • include a new Chief Medical Officer, responsible for carrying out the department’s responsibilities to coordinate the response to biological attacks
  • Managed by an Under Secretary this Directorate will include infrastructure protection, assets of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness responsible for grants, training and exercises, the U.S. Fire Administration, and the Office of National Capitol Region Coordination.”[8]

The departments, agencies and organizations that play the greatest role in direct border protection are:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is tasked with securing our borders. It is under this organization that Border Patrol Agents work. They monitor ports and places of entry and, oddly, “facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”  In addition to BPAs, inspectors enforce customs and laws governing agriculture.”[9]

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is responsible for providing immigration-related services. It is this group that is engaged in processing of immigrants and is responsible for deciding if those crossing our borders are refugees, asylum seekers, those applying for naturalization and/or deciding which immigrants can be granted work permits.”[10]

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). While more involved with interior investigations ICE also handles customs, and is responsible for detaining illegal immigrants and their deportation. It also focuses on national security and is responsible for catching smugglers. Finally, the agency helps trace support given to terrorists and exercises authority over other criminal activities.”[11], [12]

Current Status Quo at the Southwest Border

The current status quo along our southwestern border is a badly snarled and confusing morass. It bears a striking resemblance to groves of Banyan trees, the tangled roots of which make the little enforcement the president will permit under his executive mandates, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), confusing, obstructive, obfuscating and difficult. As a result, some people being set free may well be SIA terrorists.

To most Americans, the perception has long been that the vast majority of those illegally crossing our southern border are Mexicans, people coming here in search of work, looking to join family or a gang. While that may have been the case in the past, it is no longer supported by the latest immigration numbers today. According to a study done by Pew Research, detention of illegale Mexican aliens is at an all-time low.[13] The primary reasons cited for the reversal are, current mixed economic conditions, fewer job opportunities in the U.S., increases in deportations and better border enforcement.[14] However, the numbers of illegal aliens has not diminished. As Mexicans have opted to stay home, children from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras have quickly filled the vacuum. Numerous sources indicate that President Obama’s executive actions have helped spur these children to make the dangerous journey through Mexico and ultimately up to our border.

Many of them are trying to escape the horrors of poverty, violence and unstable political regimes, but the first motivator, indigence, brings up an interesting question. If their parents are poor, how can they come up with as much as $10,000 to have coyotes (people paid by cartels to smuggle drugs and humans across borders) or others bring their child up to the Rio Grande, the natural boundary flowing between Mexico from the U.S. No sources could be found to suggest that terror groups are funding the trips, but one must wonder who is. If they were arriving in a group of five, that would be understandable. But they are coming in droves and in the same timeframe.

There is no question that the children are diverting BPAs from covering their guard posts so illegal border crossers, in particular members of the Mexican drug cartels, their “mules” (people hired to smuggle drugs into the U.S.), as well as gang members and Special Interest Aliens, can cross the border far more easily. SIAs are of considerable concern to our intelligence and law enforcement agencies for obvious reasons. Stories are appearing with greater frequency on various news websites and blogs about how radical Islamists are being stopped as they try to enter the country. What is not known is how many actually make it into the U.S. for each terrorist caught? According to On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Fox News, May 6, 2015, ISIS now claims it has terrorists in 15 U.S. states, a contention not yet verified by either the FBI or CIA.[15] As stories about our borders and immigration imbroglio in general continue to be kicked around, we are hard pressed to cut through the spin to understand the truths about the issues involved.

In 2014, people from 94 different countries have or have tried to illegally enter the United States, many coming across our southern border. According to Terror Trends Bulletin (TerrorTrendsBulletin.com)  the Special Interest Countries of biggest concerns number 34, including: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen and two Palestinian territories, Gaza and the West Bank.

In fact, between October of 2013 and August of 2014, half of 138,000 people was comprised of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, while the other half were families from the same countries in Central America.[16] As noted, these people have been designated as “Other than Mexican” (OTM) by the U.S. Border Patrol and the various immigration intelligence groups under the Department of Homeland Security.

The growing concern for the intelligence community, the military, Border Patrol, ICE, DEA, Customs and other agencies, is the growing threat posed by SIAs who emigrate from the nations above, all of which are embroiled in, or exporters of, terrorism. For those who keep their eyes on our borders, the search is focused on members of terrorist cells who cross into the U.S., especially those who may be carrying a component of a weapon of mass destruction (WMDs).

Neither SIAs nor SICs are covered by the mainstream media (MSM), a shared ignorance which is deafening. For the MSM, political battles and Bruce Jenner’s gender change are far sexier than delving into the true vulnerabilities that the many children still arriving at our border are causing. In addition, Border Patrol, ICE and DEA agents are thwarted and frustrated by a Justice Department that has ordered that they not enforce immigration laws by unconstitutional executive fiat as those agents desperately struggle to mitigate the threat from SIAs.

In researching this paper, it was noted that hundreds of departments and agencies have abbreviations (see Appendix B) associated with those crossing the Rio Grande and entering the country unimpeded. There are far too many for the scope of this paper. However, two critically important ones SIAs and SICs have percolated to the top and are being used with an unsettling and increasing frequency. Reports have entered news cycles about members of ISIS setting up training camps just south of the border. Members of terrorist cells being stopped by BPAs begs the question: How many have managed to get through? Where are they headed and how do we interdict them when they are aided in their pursuits by cartels, coyotes and gangs running drugs along well-established routes?

One recent report exposes a very troubling situation that is being officially denied by the U.S. and Mexican governments, but the source of the story, Judicial Watch (JW), is solid and, according to JW, the government is holding meetings in Mexico to contemplate how to debunk the reports. Judicial Watch, a highly prestigious and reputable organization that is able to get documents that not even Congress can, is reporting that ISIS has set up a base and has a cell in northern Mexico, both only miles from the border (see Figure 1 above). The base is in Anapra, which is located just west of Ciudad Juárez and is only eight miles south of the border with Texas. That puts it perilously close to El Paso, Texas, and more concerning, in close proximity to Fort Bliss, a U.S. Army Base.[17] According to Judicial Watch (JW), “Two days after JW broke this disturbing news Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) supervisors called a “special” meeting at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez. A high-level intelligence source, who must remain anonymous for safety reasons, confirmed that the meeting was convened specifically to address a press strategy to deny Judicial Watch’s accurate reporting and identify who is providing information to JW.”[18]

According to Judicial Watch, the ISIS cell is in Puerto Palomas, also west of Ciudad Juárez, but it “targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming.” The report states, “During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as ‘plans’ of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.”[19] While the government may deny the report, that plans for Fort Bliss and the trappings of Muslim paraphernalia were found just where Judicial Watch said ISIS has a presence, seriously casting into doubt government denials.

The Judicial Watch report also indicates that ISIS is now coordinating with some of the Mexican drug cartels. JW’s story continues, “Law enforcement and intelligence sources report the area around Anapra is dominated by the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Cartel (‘Juárez Cartel’), La Línea (the enforcement arm of the cartel) and the Barrio Azteca (a gang originally formed in the jails of El Paso). Cartel control of the Anapra area makes it an extremely dangerous and hostile operating environment for Mexican Army and Federal Police operations.”[20]

As mentioned, the government has announced that the Terror Alert had been raised to Force Protection Condition Level Bravo, the highest since 9/11, for all military bases. Given ISIS’s almost direct line to Fort Bliss, that may have been the reason for the kicking the threat warning system up a notch inasmuch as military bases in particular are now at risk.[21] In addition, cartel coyotes may be helping ISIS members get across the border, where Judicial Watch reports ISIS has “spotters” in the East Potrillo Mountains (seen in the distance in the photo above).

Special Interest Alien Classification and Entry

In U.S. Response to Special Interest Aliens, A Collaborative Effort, U.S. Border Patrol Assistant Chief Doyle E. Amidon, Jr.[22] discussed the classification of SIAs as people coming from “special interest countries (ASICs) whose ideologies, religious or otherwise, produce a strong anti-American sentiment that could potentially cause individuals to carry out terrorist attacks against the United States.”[23]

Not all SIAs are Islamic extremists. Some may come from North Korea or other countries that do not consider the U.S. to be a friend or ally.  Amidon noted two ways that they enter the United States: “They may legally present themselves for admission at a designated port of entry (POE), or they may enter surreptitiously, both at and between the designated ports of entry.”[24] Importantly, he explains that the vast majority who are in country overstay their visas (classified as “out of status” and “overstays”), and are more likely to be caught by regular law enforcement than by Border Patrol Agents.[25]

The problem, he claims is that when a visitor requests a visa, even if they say they plan just to visit Disneyland, they are issued visas that span six months. He points out a common-sense issue with that policy. A six-month timeframe provides ample opportunity for a terrorist to plan, prepare for and execute a terrorist attack. In addition, at the time he filed his report in 2008, there was no system in place alerting immigration officials to the fact that someone had overstayed their visa.[26] However, he continues, even if such a system were in place, there are not enough enforcement officers to respond to an Overstay’s last known address or location. In essence, Amidon explains that visa holders are on the “honor system,” meaning they are expected to leave when their visa expires. With the system now, a terrorist could enter legally on a six-month visa and after it expires they simply move around the country to avoid detection.

Thus, not having the right kind of notification system in place leaves us open to attack and even if we knew that an SIA’s visa had expired, if they don’t remain where they say they are staying, they can obviously elude capture. What kinds of threats do terror groups entering through our perforated border pose? While in total there are 59 terrorist groups recognized by the U.S. State Department (see Appendix C), in addition to ISIS, those suspected of crossing or planning to cross our borders are more apt to be from the Special Interest Countries known to be tainted by terrorist groups.

Islamic terrorists will gladly be exposed to or injected with highly contagious diseases, such as smallpox, drug-resistant tuberculosis, typhoid or even a highly infectious strain of Ebola. Before being symptomatic, they come into the country and by walking around coughing on others in crowded places such as subways, elevators, restaurants, etc., they trigger a pandemic that could take the lives of thousands or tens of thousands depending on their pathogen of choice.  Sarin gas, ricin, anthrax and a vast array of chemical agents could be used, as well, in addition to all kinds of weapons. In either case, we may never know who the attacker was.

Finally, active cells could carry out an attack on critical electric-grid substations, the failure of which could compromise or cripple our entire electric infrastructure. Other obvious threats are car bombs, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) placed on the side of a busy highway or train tracks and a variety of other devastating attacks.


Clearly, that ISIS is now believed to have a base and camp within miles of the U.S. border near Texas and New Mexico, the need to clamp down the border in the southwest is now more necessary than ever.

The reports cited in this paper, which date back as far as 2003 and as recently as April 2015, are known to all of the various departments, agencies and bureaus assigned to protect the country. One wonders why the Obama administration insists on doing nothing about securing the border in that area. He must know from his Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) what the threats are.

Some euphemistically claim that Obama’s only interest in leaving the border open is to allow more budding Democrats to enter undetected, but given his penchant for the Islamic religion, it is jarring to think that there may be another motivating factor that keeps the border open. As can be seen in one of the photographs above, there is no impediment to anyone wishing to visit New Mexico’s mountains, as ISIS has reportedly done.

Certainly, stopping illegal immigration may not be something President Obama wishes to do, but with recent reports putting ISIS on our southern doorstep, the protection of the country and its populace must be a major top-priority if not with Obama then with Congress. Certainly, just as Iran must demonstrate its nuclear goodwill before sanctions are lifted, any comprehensive immigration plan for illegal aliens already here must be predicated on the construction of effective measures to keep new illegal aliens and terrorists out.

The border needs to be fenced in in the same way Israel has separated itself from its neighbors. The visa system must be revamped and far shorter visas issued, and there must be a system in place that notifies Border Patrol and ICE agents when a visitor’s visa has expired. Finally, we need more agents to find and deport the Overstays and help take care of the Central American kids. Failing that, a greater presence at the border by the National Guard is imperative.

If these measures at the very least are not taken, the underbelly of the United States is fully exposed and vulnerable. It is only a matter of time before ISIS or some other terrorist group south of our border plans a catastrophic terror attack against us.  All they would need to do is learn from the attack on an electric substation that occurred here two years ago. That may well have been a dress rehearsal for an attack on substations without which the grid cannot remain viable. If the grid is compromised, government sources who do not wish to be mentioned indicate that upwards of 90% of the U.S. population will succumb within a year. with our electric grid, down due to a terrorist attack the “wait” time is over.  We need to fence off the border right now or tempt fate.


  1. Public Law 107–296 107th Congress (November 25, 2002).
  2. Guiliani, Rudolph W. (2008). The Resilient Society Guiliani [online article].
  3. Guiliani, Rudolph W. (2008). The Resilient Society Guiliani [online article]. Retrieved from http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_1_homeland_security.html
  4. Vol 4, No 1 (2010) LaFree, Gary (2010). The Global Terrorism Database: Accomplishments and Challenges [online article].
  5. Homeland Security Act of 2002, Title I – Department of Homeland Security.
  6. (August 9, 2012) Department Six-point Agenda.
  7. Ibid
  8. (August 9, 2012) Department Six-point Agenda.
  9. (2002) Homeland Security Act of 2002, Title I – Department of Homeland Security.
  10. Ibid
  11. (August 9, 2012). Department Six-point Agenda.
  12. Ibid
  13. Passel, Jeffery S., Cohn, D’vera and Gonzalas-Barrera, Anna (April 23, 2012). Net Migration from Mexico Falls to Zero—and Perhaps Less.
  14. Ibid
  15. Purported ISIS warning claims terror cells in place in 15 states (May 06, 2015).
  16. Women’s Refugee Commission, Fact Sheet, Confined Without Care: A Guide to the Detention of Mothers and Children in the U.S. Immigration System.
  17. ISIS Camp a Few Miles from Texas, Mexican Authorities Confirm (April 14, 2015)
  18. Ibid
  19. Reports, Terrorist Acts Corroborate ISIS in Mexico Story JW Broke Last Month (May 5, 2015).
  20. ISIS Camp a Few Miles from Texas, Mexican Authorities Confirm (April 14, 2015)
  21. Diaz, Daniella (May 8, 2015) What is Force Protection Condition Level Bravo?
  22. Amidon, Doyle E Jr. (March 25, 2008) S. Response to Special Interest Aliens, A Collaborative Effort
  23. Ibid, Page 2
  24. Ibid, Page 2
  25. Ibid, Page 3
  26. Ibid, Page 3


Krogstad, J. M., & Passel, J. S. (November 18, 2014). 5 facts about illegal immigration in the U.S.

(N.D.). 8 U.S. Code § 1101 – Definitions.

Mora, E. (January 21, 2014). Border Patrol: 97% of 414,397 Illegal Alien Arrests in 2013 Along Southwest Border Occurred in Texas.

Mora, E. (March 17, 2015). Border Patrol Agent: We are Punished for Reporting Illegal Alien Groups of More Than 20.

Krogstad, J. M., Gonzalez-Barrera, A., Lopez, M.H. (2014, July 22). Children 12 and under are fastest growing group of unaccompanied minors at U.S. border.

Criminal Aliens: The Removal Process. (July 22, 2014).

Mora, E. (September 28, 2011). DOJ: ‘Mexican-Based Trafficking Organizations Control Access to the U.S.–Mexico Border

FY 2014 ICE Immigration Removals. (n.d.).

Schilling, T. (May 20, 2010). Foreign Terrorists Breach U.S. Border.

Mora, E. (November 23, 2011). GAO: Illegals Suspected of Igniting at Least 30 Wildfires Near Arizona-Mexico Border Between 2006 and 2010.

Mora, E. (July 26, 2010). GAO: Some Mexican Drug Traffickers ‘Specialize’ in Smuggling Aliens From Countries With Ties to Terrorism Into the U.S.

Hezb’Allah Teams with Mexican Drug Cartels: “Ten pounds of anthrax in a medium-size suitcase, carried by a Jihad warrior through the tunnels can kill 300,000 Americans in one hour…It will make 9/11 look like peanuts”. (n.d.).

Mora, E. (February 2, 2012). Holder Admits ‘National Security Crisis Along Our Southwest Border.’

Mass, W. (August 5, 2014). Immigrants From Over 75 Countries Illegally Crossing U.S. Border.

ISIS Camp a Few Miles from Texas, Mexican Authorities Confirm. (April 14, 2015).

ISIS Terror Camp a Few Miles from Texas. (n.d.).

Jihadist Threat on the Southern Border. (November 21, 2014)

Joint Task Force North. (January 26, 2010). Joint Taskforce North.

Judicial Watch Obtains New Border Patrol Apprehension Statistics for Illegal Alien Smugglers and “Special Interest Aliens.” (MARCH 9, 2011).

Jeffrey, T. P. (April 28, 2010). Justice Department: Border Patrol Agents Assaulted Daily, Kidnappings Every 35 Hours in Phoenix, 1 in 5 Teens Using Drugs Predominantly Supplied by Mexican Traffickers.

Star, P. (January 17, 2012). Napolitano: DHS Is Working with Mexico on ‘Special Interest Aliens’ Threat Along U.S.- Mexican Border.

Longmire, S. (March 31, 2015). The Nature and Impact of Illegal Immigration on Security in Texas.’

Evans, Michael. (June 19, 2014). New Report, Declassified Documents, Highlight Security Concerns at “Mexico’s Other Border

Sector Profile – Fiscal Year 2014 (Oct. 1st through Sept. 30th)

Hicks, S. (N.D.). Special Prosecutions.

Stein, D. (March 4, 1999). Temporary Protected Status.

Krogstad, J. M. & Passel, J.S. (2014, December 30). U.S. border apprehensions of Mexicans fall to historic lows.

Longmire, S. (May 11, 2011). What Can We Learn from Trends in ‘Special Interest Alien’ Migration Into the US?

Appendix A Departments and Agencies Under the Department of Homeland Security in Coordination with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Justice

Departments and Agencies under the Jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS is responsible for providing immigration-related services such as processing immigrant and nonimmigrant benefits; adjudicating refugee, asylee, and naturalization petitions; and granting or denying work authorization.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP is charged with securing U.S. borders at and between ports of entry and facilitating legitimate trade and travel. It includes Border Patrol agents, as well as inspectors enforcing immigration, customs, and agriculture laws.z

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE handles the interior investigative and enforcement responsibilities of immigration and customs, including detention and deportation. ICE focuses on national security, financial, and smuggling violations to target the support behind terrorist and criminal activities.

US-VISIT. This is a stand-alone program office responsible for implementing the program that uses biometric indicators to track the entry and exit of nonimmigrant visa holders at U.S. air, land, and sea ports of entry.

Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS). OIS is responsible for developing, analyzing, and disseminating immigration-related statistical information, including the annual Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. 2

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP is charged with securing U.S. borders at and between ports of entry and facilitating legitimate trade and travel. It includes Border Patrol agents, as well as inspectors enforcing immigration, customs, and agriculture laws.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE handles the interior investigative and enforcement responsibilities of immigration and customs, including detention and deportation. ICE focuses on national security, financial, and smuggling violations to target the support behind terrorist and criminal activities.

US-VISIT. This is a stand-alone program office responsible for implementing the program that uses biometric indicators to track the entry and exit of nonimmigrant visa holders at U.S. air, land, and sea ports of entry.

Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS). OIS is responsible for developing, analyzing, and disseminating immigration-related statistical information, including the annual Yearbook of Immigration Statistics.

Bureaus Under the State Department

Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). PRM is responsible for formulating policies on population, refugees, and migration, as well as administrating U.S. refugee assistance and admission programs.

Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA): CA interprets visa laws and regulations and serves as a liaison between the Department of State and overseas embassies and consulates on visa matters. Oversight of visa policy now rests within DHS. Consular officials issue visas and passports and provide services to U.S. citizens abroad.

Offices and Boards under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice

Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). EOIR is responsible for adjudicating immigration cases and for the interpretation and administration of immigration law. Its components include:

Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). BIA is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. It has nationwide jurisdiction and is responsible for hearing appeals of decisions rendered by immigration judges or DHS district directors.

Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCIJ). This office is responsible for conducting formal court proceedings related to immigration cases. Their decisions are final unless sent to BIA.

Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO). OCAHO oversees the administrative law judges who adjudicate employer sanctions, document fraud, and IRCA-related discrimination cases.

Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL). This office holds jurisdiction over all civil immigration litigation and is responsible for coordinating immigration matters before the federal district courts and circuit court of appeals.

Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices (OSC). OSC investigates and prosecutes employment discrimination based on citizenship status, national origin, document abuse, or retaliation. It also engages in outreach and education regarding employer sanctions’ anti-discrimination provisions. Source: Retrieved from migrationpolicy.org

Appendix B Abbreviations Used by the Department of Homeland Security

ACAP              Alien Criminal Apprehension Program
BOP                Bureau of Prisons
BORCAP       Border Patrol Criminal Alien Program
BTS                 Border and Transportation Security
CAP                Criminal Alien Program
CBP                Customs and Border Protection
DACS             Deportable Alien Control System
DHS               Department of Homeland Security
DOJ                Department of Justice
DRO               Office of Detention and Removal (ICE)
EOIR             Executive Office of Immigration Review
EREM           Enforce Removal Module
FTE                Full Time Equivalent
FY                  Fiscal Year
GAO               Government Accountability Office
HHS               Health and Human Services
ICE                 Immigration and Customs Enforcement
IEA                Immigration Enforcement Agent
IJ                    Immigration Judge
INA                Immigration and Nationality Act
INS                 Immigration and Naturalization Service
IRP                Institutional Removal Program
LACJ             Los Angeles County Jail
OI                   Office of Investigation
OIG               Office of Inspector General
OTM              Other Than Mexican
SIA                Special Interest Aliens
SIC                 Special Interest Countries
SST                State Sponsors of Terrorism
USCIS          United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Source: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Office of Inspector General

DETENTION AND REMOVAL OF ILLEGAL ALIENS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Appendix C –  U.S. State Department List of Terrorist Groups

Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)
Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB)
al-Mulathamun Battalion
al-Nusrah Front
al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
al-Qa’ida (AQ)
al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
Ansar al-Dine (AAD)
Ansar al-Islam (AAI)
Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi
Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah
Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis
Army of Islam (AOI)
Asbat al-Ansar (AAA)
Aum Shinrikyo (AUM)
Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
Boko Haram
Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA)
Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)
Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group) (IG)


Haqqani Network (HQN)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI)
Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
Indian Mujahedeen (IM)
Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)
Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (formerly al-Qa’ida in Iraq)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)
Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT)
Jemaah Islamiya (JI)
Kahane Chai (Kach)
Kata’ib Hizballah (KH)
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (Kongra-Gel)
Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)
Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT)
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC)
National Liberation Army (ELN)
Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLF)
Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA)
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N)
Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
Revolutionary Struggle (RS)
Shining Path (SL)
Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)

Source: All terrorist groups as defined by the United States Department of State.

© 2018 Amil Imani – All Rights Reserved

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