Full Name
Hipolito Acosta
Job Title
Former District Director, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
Department of Homeland Security
Speaker Bio
Hipolito Acosta was appointed District Director, U. S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) in Houston under the Department of Homeland Security in January 2004, serving in that position until his retirement on March 31, 2005. He assumed the leadership of legacy I&NS Houston District in August 2002 and served in that capacity until the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Acosta began his government career with the U.S. Border Patrol in Marfa, Texas in 1975. During his career with the service, he was the recipient of numerous awards as well as international recognition for his leadership in customer service and enforcement duties.

His domestic career included front line and leadership roles in the fight against human smuggling and trafficking, organized crime and narcotics operations. He served in key positions such as Criminal Investigator in Chicago, Special Agent with the El Paso District & Border Patrol Sector, and as Supervisory Special Agent in Brownsville, Texas. High profile investigations and successful undercover operations involving thousands of smuggled aliens from Central America, Europe and the Middle East were trademarks of his investigative career.

In 1989, Mr. Acosta was selected as Asst. Officer in Charge of I&NS operations in Manila, Philippines, assuming command of the office in February 1991. During his tenure in the Philippines, Mr. Acosta developed relations with host country government officials, to include the Office of the President and was one of six U. S. diplomats to receive high recognition by President Corazon Aquino. While in Manila, he developed the first ever citizenship program for thousands of Philippine World War II veterans. He was highly recognized as the driving force in the citizenship program abroad with the naturalization of over 7,000 applicants.

Following his tenure in the Philippines, Mr. Acosta was appointed as Officer in Charge of I&NS operations at the U.S. Consulates in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico (1995) and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico (1996) and in 1999 was promoted to the position of District Director at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. As District Director for the I&NS Mexico City Office, he was responsible for overseeing sixteen offices throughout Latin America and the Caribbean with operational jurisdiction over 42 countries, including a pre-inspection station in Aruba and refugee office in Havana, Cuba.

A native of Presidio, Texas, Mr. Acosta served four years with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He is one of the most highly decorated legacy I&NS officers, having been honored with numerous agency Commissioner Awards as well receiving the U.S. Border Patrol’s highest and most prestigious award for courage and heroism in the line of duty, the Newton-Azrak Award.

Mr. Acosta and his wife Terrie have one daughter and three sons. He is the author of three novels, The Shadow Catcher, The Hunt for Mann Singh and his latest release titled, Deep in the Shadows, Undercover in the Ruthless World of Human Smuggling.
Hipolito Acosta