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HSI Rebrands to Downplay ICE Ties

Homeland Security Investigations has been closely associated with its parent agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for immigration-related law enforcement. But HSI is now attempting to distance itself from ICE. The agency is going through a rebrand, changing its website from being associated with ICE to just, ABC News reports. HSI will still be under ICE, but the new distance in identification will help with outreach to the public, according to HSI Executive Associate Director Katrina Berger. The change reflects an intentional push to distance HSI's work from immigration policy, which has fueled Democratic attacks on ICE and led some cities, counties and states to enact so-called "sanctuary" policies to prevent cooperation with ICE officials related to a suspect's immigration status. "So many of our stakeholders are our law enforcement partners, the American public, private sector partners, NGOs — [they] are often confused about what we do, and the civil immigration enforcement side of the ICE mission is not what HSI does," Berger said.

Thanks to the ICE branding and email addresses, "we're oftentimes not able to partner with law enforcement in certain jurisdictions that aren't working with ICE, oftentimes college campuses, schools," Berger said. The rebrand is a better opportunity for HSI to inform the public about what they do — and keep criminals off the streets, Berger said. HSI's mission is broad, officials note, from preventing terrorists from entering the country to identifying and supporting victims who are rescued from child exploitation situations to stopping financial fraud and the flow of counterfeit goods. "We focus on our mission which is the global investigation of transnational crime impacting or our communities, and that really gets lost out there," Berger said. "We are a criminal law enforcement agency." Berger said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas authorized the rebrand, which could boost agents' morale.


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