Speeches and Statements
This week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection met with representatives from the Southern Border Communities’ Coalition, the Northern Border Coalition, and several Washington, DC based non-governmental organizations. The meeting highlighted CBP’s efforts in transparency, accountability, and oversight across a number of policy and operational areas. This dialogue with our non-governmental partners is essential to our continued progress on a transparent and accountable CBP. We look forward to continuing our work together.
As part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s continued emphasis on transparency and accountability, the agency has begun the second phase of its Body Worn Camera feasibility study. CBP is conducting the study to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating body worn camera technology into CBP’s law enforcement operations in each of its operational environments along the U.S. border: at and between ports of entry, in the air and at sea.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske begins travel this week in Australia to meet with the B5 countries of Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and Canada in Melbourne. As part of the meeting, Commissioner Kerlikowske and counterparts will provide updates on the progress of the 2014-2015 Work Plan that was developed in June 2014.
On Wednesday, January 21, at approximately 1 a.m. local time, U.S. Border Patrol agents from Rio Grande City Station responded to drug smuggling activity near Chapeño, Texas, just west of Roma. Around 1:45 a.m., as agents secured the narcotics load, one agent searching the area for smugglers came under fire. The agent returned fire, striking one subject. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, CBP’s Office of Internal Affairs, the FBI, Texas Rangers and Starr County Sheriff’s Office are investigating. U.S.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) disagrees with the Office of Inspector General (OIG) report’s portrayal of the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) program, managed by our Office of Air and Marine (OAM), which inaccurately portrays the program’s effectiveness, and with the report’s analysis of cost and cost per flight hour data.
CBP’s full response to OIG’s report can be found in the following document: CBP Response to OIG UAS Report.
I am writing to clarify the status of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Air and Marine (OAM), unmanned aircraft system (UAS) acquisition plans.
I am pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Todd C. Owen as Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations (OFO). He is expected to assume his duties in February 2015.
Mr. Owen will oversee operations and programs that support CBP’s complex and diverse mission, including national security, traveler admissibility and immigration, customs, and commercial trade, including the CBP Officers and Agriculture Specialists who serve at 328 U.S. ports of entry and 16 preclearance locations overseas.
Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske will travel to Recife, Brazil to participate in the World Customs Organization 72nd Session of the Policy Commission as the Head of Delegation for the United States. The Policy Commission was established to act as a steering group to the WCO Council.
- Thank you, Chairman Negroponte, for your gracious introduction. Your leadership and vision have been extraordinary throughout your career in both the public and private sectors. Congressman Cuellar, Congressman O’Rourke, and distinguished Council members and guests—Good morning. It is an honor to be here with you today.
- The Council of Americas’ work is critical to our region. Your ardent support of free trade agreements was instrumental in the conception of NAFTA, and CAFTA—both of which have helped the Americas achieve economic growth and prosperity.
Each year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection publishes annual statistics summarizing border security and facilitation operations. CBP personnel gather and analyze hundreds of statistics from the agency's multiple law enforcement databases, verify the data, and then organize it for publication. This year, some of CBP's data was posted on the website prematurely and removed later that day. One of the statistics released was the number of Southwest border apprehensions by the Border Patrol, which was 479,371.
On behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, I would like to congratulate the law enforcement team responsible for arresting Eric Frein, the man suspected of killing Corporal Bryon Dickson, a Pennsylvania State Trooper, in early September. Cooperation between all of the Federal, State and local partners and perseverance were central in apprehending the suspect. I commend the CBP team of Border Patrol agents and Air and Marine pilots, who joined in the seven-week search for the suspect after a direct request for support from the Pennsylvania State Police for their unique set of skills.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA), CBP identified nearly $19 million in Fiscal Year 2014 for distribution to the domestic crawfish industry. The statements are currently being prepared and distributions will be made by the November statutory deadline. Final distribution amounts are subject to change and could be impacted due to ongoing litigation. CDSOA was passed on October 28, 2000 and remained effective until October 1, 2007. The provisions of this act allow for anti-dumping and countervailing (AD/CV) duties collected by CBP to be di
Good morning, thank you all for joining us today.
I would like to announce that U. S. Customs and Border Protection beginning today, enhanced passenger processing protocols will begin for travelers entering the United States who have traveled from or through the Ebola-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone here at John F. Kennedy International Airport. This is being done in coordination with our partners at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today a partnership with non-profit organizations and its plan to accept donations in support of the humanitarian situation in the Rio Grande Valley. Non-profit organizations can support the children and families in CBP facilities by donating books and blankets. For more information on how to donate, and specific item descriptions, please contact the CBP NGO Liaison at NGOLiaison@cbp.dhs.gov.
Shortly after 7:30 this morning (MST) in Arizona, two on-duty Border Patrol agents from Willcox Station were involved in a single-vehicle accident. The agents were traveling Eastbound on I-10 near Sybil Road when the accident occurred. Both agents were transported to the University Medical Center in Tucson; one via Life Flight and the other via ground ambulance.
It saddens me to report that the Border Patrol agent being transported via Life Flight – a 5-year veteran of the Border Patrol -- died enroute.
Thank you for the kind introduction. It is wonderful to be with so many people that I have known and worked with over many years. I’m delighted to speak with you today on my first trip outside of Washington since my long tenure with CBP began, 10 days ago.
Given this lengthy CBP experience, I will rely on my more knowledgeable colleagues in DHS and CBP to provide you with our updates. Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher and Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition‘s Assistant Commissioner Mark Borkowski will both speak about their divisions tomorrow.
“Early yesterday morning I was notified that one of our agents may have committed a very serious and disturbing crime against three individuals, a woman and two teenage girls, near Abram, Texas. I want you to know that I consider these actions, if true, to be reprehensible and I know they are not representative of the agents of the U.S. Border Patrol. Right now, we are fully cooperating with the FBI who is conducting the investigation into these allegations and working diligently to make sure the victims are receiving the proper care and attention.