U.S. Customs and Border Protection is addressing the terrorist threat 24-hours a day. We have a multi-layered approach that encompasses working with our foreign counterparts, employing intelligence, technology, advanced information in the field and the most professional workforce worldwide. We are aware of the terrorist threat and are evolving hourly to face it and keep America safe. CBP uses various strategies and employs the latest in technology to accomplish its goals. We have extended our zone of security beyond our physical borders through the use of bilateral and private-sector partnerships, targeting and scrutinizing advance information on people and products coming into this country. We are cultivating smart borders through the use of technology and have established a layered defense strategy. And we have created one face at the border, a unified, recognizable presence at the border that combines and capitalizes on the authorities and skills of our diverse workforce. CBP has achieved much since its creation in March 2003. Some of the most significant accomplishments are as follows:
Strengthening control of the United States borders
Augmented Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System (ISIS), that uses remotely monitored night-day camera and sensing systems to better detect, monitor, and respond to illegal crossings, on both the Northern and Southern borders.
Deployed radiation detection technology including Personal Radiation Detectors (PRDs) to more than 10, 400 CBP officers and agents, and Radiation Isotope Identification Detection System (RIIDS) to over 60 Border Patrol field locations.
Increased the amount of Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS) which are pole mounted cameras that provide coverage 24 hours a day/7 days a week to detect illegal crossings, on both our Northern and Southern borders.
Deployed two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to support the Arizona Border Control Initiative. UAVs are equipped with sophisticated on-board sensors that provide long-range surveillance and are useful for monitoring remote land border areas where patrols cannot easily travel and infrastructure is difficult or impossible to build.
Implemented a Geographic Information System (GIS), a Southwest border initiative, which tracks illegal migration patterns to better deploy personnel and resources to establish control of our border.
Increased use of radiation portal monitors. These detection devices provide CBP with a passive, non-intrusive means to screen trucks and other conveyances for the presence of nuclear and radiological materials.
Encourage use of smart and secure containers. In order to qualify as a smart box container, it must use a seal or other type of high-security, tamper-evident technology that meets the standards of the International Organization for Standardization. The containers must also have to be equipped with tamper-proof or tamper-evident container security devices.
Increased Border Patrol aircraft and helicopter and marine operations on the northern, southern and coastal areas to enhance our ability to protect and secure our waterways. Resources and Initiatives
Tripled the number of Border Patrol Agents on the Northern Border before 9/11, bringing the total number of agents to 1,000 assigned to the U.S border with Canada. Currently, there are about 11,200 Border Patrol agents nationwide.
Reassigned 200 CBP Border Patrol Agents to the high-threat smuggling corridors of the Arizona-Mexico border. CBP is continuing deployments of special units including the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, Special Response Teams, and the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue Team in these areas. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will maintain and expand coordinated, heightened security efforts under the Arizona Border Control Initiative (ABCI) to establish operational control over the weakest and most vulnerable area of our Southwest Border where more than 40 percent of illegal aliens are apprehended.
Established additional Border Patrol checkpoints in strategically-located zones of egress from border areas to improve border security by strengthening our defense in depth.
Deployed specially trained explosive and chemical detector dogs to conduct inspections at our Border Patrol Checkpoints.
Implemented the Interior Repatriation Program in July 2004. Interior repatriation is a voluntary program that repatriates Mexican nationals who are apprehended to Mexico City or Guadalajara, Mexico and then to their point of origin instead of to the closest port of entry into Mexico. This program is designed to save lives and break the cycle of smuggling into the United States through the Tucson, Arizona corridor.
Developed a set of policies and practices to ensure that when CBP does encounter an individual, package or conveyance that presents a potential national security risk the proper anti-terrorism procedures are followed. These procedures are designed to ensure that anti-terrorism responses involve appropriate coordination and information sharing among all relevant law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and required CBP to improve communication and coordination with other agencies such as the FBI and ICE.
Worked with national intelligence agencies to share data on suspicious activity and share information with CBP personnel on the front lines.
Expanded the use of expedited removal, already available at ports of entry, to areas between ports of entry patrolled by CBP Border Patrol Agents. This permits aliens apprehended after illegally entering the U.S. to be more efficiently and expeditiously removed from the United States.
Secure traveler programs
Implemented NEXUS, an alternative inspection system, which allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers to be processed in an expedited manner by CBP, via a dedicated commuter lane at several Canadian land borders.
Used the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) at ports of entry along the U.S. -Mexico border. Dedicated commuter lanes and an automated system allow motorists at selected southern land border ports to enter the United States faster.
Improved selectivity, screening, and targeting
National Targeting Center was established on October 21, 2001before September 11, no national level targeting of people or goods crossing our borders existed. The NTC is the centralized coordination point for all of CBPs anti-terrorism efforts. Utilizing sophisticated targeting methodology it analyzes, screens, and targets for intensive anti-terrorism inspection all passengers and cargo before arrival in the United States.
Established the 24-hour rule, which requires that CBP receive detailed electronic information on all U.S.-bound sea cargo before the cargo is loaded at the foreign port, which provides for improved targeting capability.
CBP uses advance information from the Automated Targeting System (ATS), Automated Export System (AES), and the Trade Act of 2002 Advance Electronic Information Regulations to perform transactional risk assessments, evaluate potential national security risks, and identify cargo that may pose a threat.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CBP personnel are working side by side at the NTC to protect the U.S. food supply by screening high-risk imported food shipments and implementing provisions of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. CBP and FDA are able to react quickly to threats of bio-terrorist attacks on the U.S. food supply or to other food related emergencies.
The Aviation Transportation Security Act of 2001 (APIS) and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Reform Act of 2002, mandated the electronic transmission of passenger and crew manifest for inbound and outbound commercial air and sea carriers to the APIS system.
The Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS) was implemented in August 2003. It is an Internet/Intranet based system operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that electronically captures, maintains, and monitors information relevant to each foreign student, exchange visitor, and their dependents. SEVIS provides CBP with a mechanism to facilitate the entry of bonafide students and exchange visitors and quickly identify possible status violators.
The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) continues to make electronic risk management far more effective. The ACE Secure Data Portal provides a single, centralized on-line access point to connect CBP and the trade community. CBP’s modernization efforts enhance border security while optimizing the ever-increasing flow of legitimate trade.
Pushing Our Zone of Security Outward
Established the Container Security Initiative (CSI) ( Container Security Initiative (CSI) ) . CSI allows CBP to target, and with our foreign counterparts, screen containers, prior to the container being laded on ships destined for the United States. Teams of CBP officers have been assigned to 25 overseas ports to target and screen containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism destined for the United States. Nineteen countries have committed to participation in CSI. There are 37 ports within those nineteen countries that are in various stages of CSI implementation.
Instituted the Immigration Security Initiative (ISI) pilot program that places teams of CBP officers at key foreign hub airports working with foreign law enforcement and airline officials to inspect high-risk passengers prior to boarding U.S. bound aircraft. The first two foreign airports to participate in the program are Amsterdam, Holland and Warsaw, Poland. Private/public sector and international partnerships
Established Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) ( Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) ) to work with importers, carriers, brokers, and other industry sectors to emphasize a seamless security-conscious environment throughout the entire commercial process, from manufacture through transportation and importation to ultimate distribution. Begun in November, 2001, C-TPAT now has more than 7,000 members and is the largest public/private partnership in federal government in U.S. history. C-TPAT provides a forum for the business community and CBP to exchange anti-terrorism ideas, concepts and information to further secure the entire commercial process.
Established the Free and Secure Trade Program (FAST) ( FAST Application Information ) , an expedited processing program to speed the movement of secure truck shipments across our shared borders.
Expanded the Border Safety Initiative (BSI), whose primary objective is the reduction of injuries and prevention of deaths in the southwest border region and the creation of a safer border environment. BSI is a bi-lateral agreement with the Mexican government to inform potential migrants of the hazards of crossing the border illegally and to respond to those who are in a life-threatening situation.
Established Smart Border Action Plans, which are cooperative agreements with Canada and Mexico to protect our common borders as well as our shared economic prosperity. The plans provide for additional security personnel to protect our shared borders.
One Face at the Border
Successfully integrated four different organizations from three different departments of government into CBP with no interruption in operations.
Named a single port director for unified CBP operations at each of the more than 300 ports of entry.
Established a short, clear chain of command from the field to headquarters that encompassed the customs, immigration, and agriculture responsibilities of the new agency.
Issued new DHS badges to CBP officers, CBP agriculture specialists, and CBP Border Patrol agents. The new badge is the visible, unifying symbol of the entire CBP frontline workforce, and represents DHS and CBPs commitment to preserve and protect our nation.
Expanded coverage of the Customs Officer Pay Reform Act (COPRA) to bring fairness to inspector overtime pay. To address the inequities created by numerous overtime systems for frontline inspectors transferring to CBP, the agency proposed that based on its advantages, COPRA, which has been in effect since 1994, be used for all inspectors.
Converted over 18,000 Customs, Immigration, and Agriculture Inspectors to two new positions — Customs and Border Protection Officer (1895 Series) and Agriculture Inspector (0401 Series). This initiative fully integrates the inspectional functions of CBPs legacy inspectors, enhancing the agencys ability to perform its anti-terrorism and traditional missions.
Implemented shared HRM services to optimize service and efficiency to its customers. HRM has established a new shared services organization that fully integrates additional staff from legacy agencies. The new service provides the tri-bureaus of ICE, USCIS, and CBP with high-quality HR service as well as service to other DHS clients.
Established CareerFinder as the agencys online vacancy system. Careerfinder will be used to fill all tri-bureau vacancies (USCIS, CBP, ICE), excluding only entry-level positions that require testing.
Initiated an innovative Border Patrol relocation expense program. The new program reduces the average cost of voluntary moves for Border Patrol Agents from approximately $72,000 to $12,000 per move.
Improved anti-terrorism training for all CBP personnel. CBP has implemented anti-terrorism training for all personnel with a special focus on training related to weapons of mass effect. This includes identifying and intercepting potential instruments of terrorism using non-intrusive inspection technology and radiation detection equipment.
Produced an agriculture fundamentals module for classes of new CBP Officers as their initiation to the agriculture component of their new training. A new agriculture procedures module will be delivered to all current CBP Officers at the nation’s ports of entry.
Keeping our borders and our future safe and secure CBP will continue its efforts to defend our borders against terrorists and their weapons through innovative use of detection technology, advanced information systems, risk-management, and collaborative ventures with the trade and foreign governments while maintaining a vigorous and welcoming tourism and commercial trade posture.