U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charged with the priority mission of preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States, while also facilitating the flow of legitimate trade and travel. More than 43,000 CBP employees manage, control, and protect the Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry (POEs). As the single unified border agency, CBP's mission is vitally important for the protection of the American people and the national economy.
The magnitude of CBP employees' workload is impressive - as are their results. In addition to carrying out the CBP priority mission, in Fiscal Year 2006, CBP employees processed 31.1 million trade entries, 422.9 million pedestrians and passengers, and 132.4 million conveyances; and they collected $30 billion in revenue, apprehended 1.3 million illegal aliens, intercepted 2.8 million prohibited agricultural items, and seized 2.2 million pounds of illegal narcotics.
CBP - with its roots in the legacy agencies of the U.S. Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Service - has a proud history of protecting the U.S., its citizens, and its domestic industries from threats from abroad. In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we put in place a number of programs to further secure our borders while not adversely impacting the flow of legitimate trade and travel. In Fiscal Year 2006, we continued to enhance our effectiveness in carrying out our mission through the expansion of these programs and the implementation of a number of new initiatives. Below are some examples of our accomplishments this past year.
Expanding Operational Control of Our Land Borders
- We increased the number of border miles under operational control from 288 at the end of FY05 to approximately 449 at the end of FY06, an increase in 161 miles (or 56%). We also increased the number of Border Patrol Agent (BPAs) on board by 9.2 percent - from 11,156 in Fiscal Year 2005 to 12,185 in Fiscal Year 2006.
- In September 2006, we awarded the SBInet integrator contract to the Boeing Corporation. SBInet is the border control component of the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Border Initiative (SBI). SBI is a comprehensive plan to control our borders and stem the flow of illegal immigration through an integrated mix of increased staffing, more robust interior enforcement, greater investment in detection technology and infrastructure, and enhanced coordination at the federal, state, local, and international levels. SBInet will provide frontline personnel advantages in securing the nation's land borders by fielding the most effective mix of current and next generation technology, infrastructure, staffing, and response platforms.
- Unprecedented cooperation between CBP and the military has resulted in the deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to the border in support of the Border Patrol. As a result, 384 Border Patrol Agents have been returned to border security duties and the additional "eyes and ears" on the border have improved situational awareness in over 300 southwest border miles.
- We expanded the Expedited Removal program to all southwest, coastal, and northern border sectors and - working with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - ended the practice of "catch and release." Prior to the implementation of Expedited Removal, illegal aliens who could not be detained because of a lack of detention space were released on their own recognizance. Ending "catch and release" has significantly decreased the level of illegal cross-border activity being observed.
- We expanded the Operation Against Smugglers Initiative on Safety and Security (OASISS) program, a highly innovative program that requires partnering with law enforcement in Mexico. As a result, prosecutions of illegal alien smuggling foot guides in Mexico have increased.
- We developed joint US-Mexico protocols to address border violence; improve data sharing in the air environment; and exchange information necessary to identify and dismantle criminal organizations engaged in the exploitation of women and children.
Securing Our Airways and Coastline Between the Ports of Entry
- On January 17, 2006, we unified our air and marine assets and personnel under the CBP Office of Air and Marine, the largest civilian law enforcement air force in the world with almost 600 pilots, more than 250 aircraft and 200 marine vessels.
- To close the security gap along the Northern Border, we established the Great Falls, Montana, Air Branch - the 3rd of 5 planned northern border air wings. The new air branch immediately began intensive operations to determine Northern Border vulnerabilities and to support Border Patrol ground operations.
- We also broke ground on the new National Air Training Center facility in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Upon completion, the new facility will be capable of housing additional aircraft and personnel necessary to meet projected increases in CBP Air and Marine training and standardization requirements.
- We continued modernization of our air fleet with the purchase of 10 EC-120 helicopters for southwest border security operations.
- The CBP Air and Marine Operations Center (AMOC) in Riverside, Calif., received the Director's Award for Distinguished Service from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. This award recognizes distinguished service to the nation in support of the President's National Drug Control Strategy.
Providing the Tools and Techniques to Prevent the Entry of Terrorists at POEs
- We developed a comprehensive 5-year Strategic Plan for securing America's borders at the POEs.
- We expanded the use of non-intrusive inspection (NII) technology throughout the last half of Fiscal Year 2006. As of September 30, 2006, a total of 180 large-scale NII systems had been deployed to the POEs. In addition, a total of 881 Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) had been deployed, with an aggressive rollout of next-generation RPM equipment continuing into Fiscal Year 2007. In Fiscal Year 2006, 84% of containerized truck and sea cargo was screened with RPMs.
- We continued to expand and enhance the CBP Automated Targeting System (ATS). ATS is an essential tool that supports CBP's field targeting units at sea ports, airports, and land borders. ATS-Land was deployed to all land border POEs; enhancements were made to ATS-Passenger to conduct vetting of flights overseas prior to the boarding of the aircraft, and to address intelligence-driven special operations; and ATS-N (cargo) was modified to address agro-terrorism risks.
- We issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that requires carriers to provide Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) data in advance of passenger boarding. APIS data is critical to the Nation's ability to identify dangerous individuals entering the United States.
- Through the CBP Immigration Advisory Program (IAP) program in Amsterdam, Warsaw, and London, 656 improperly documented travelers and 27 travelers with fraudulent documents were prevented from boarding aircraft bound for the U.S.
- We worked with the airlines to support the Carrier Liaison Program (CLP). In partnership with air carriers, the CLP has reduced the number of improperly documented travelers boarding aircraft to the U.S. by training airline staff to screen documents on behalf of airlines.
- We established a pilot program between the CBP National Targeting Center (NTC) and Interpol as part of an initiative to connect CBP directly to Interpol's lost and stolen travel document database.
- Working with several DHS organizations, we developed the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) notice of proposed rulemaking for the air environment. The WHTI proposed rule supports our anti-terrorism mission while facilitating the flow of lawful trade and travel by requiring persons who were not previously required to carry passports to be required to present them when arriving in the United States by air.
Strengthening Supply Chain Security
- As part of our effort to ensure cargo is thoroughly screened before arriving at U.S. sea ports, ten additional Container Security Initiative (CSI) ports were opened in Fiscal Year 2006; bringing the total number of operational CSI ports to 50 and covering 81.7% of U.S.-bound maritime containers. Twenty-eight additional customs administrations have committed to joining CSI and are at various stages of implementation.
- This past year, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program experienced a significant increase in the number of certified members and increased the number of validations three-fold over FY 2005. Under the C-TPAT program, importers who meet certain security standards are provided expedited processing benefits. This enables us to facilitate legitimate trade while focusing our resources on unknown or high-risk shipments.
- In 2006, the President signed into law the SAFE Port Act. This act, among other things, reinforces our layered approach to securing the international maritime supply chain, and codifies into law, the Container Security Initiative and Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.
- In Fiscal Year 2006, we developed a comprehensive strategy for combating "gate-outs" (any shipment with a CBP security hold in place that leaves a terminal compound without being inspected) at all ports of entry, which includes outreach as well as enforcement activities.
- We implemented a collaborative CBP/Coast Guard operations program focused on joint targeting, vessel boardings, shared information, training, and professional exchange.
- We conducted special operations with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Fish and Wildlife Service, to improve our ability to detect prohibited agricultural products and identify agro-threats and pathways.
Facilitating Legitimate Trade and Travel
- We made significant progress on trusted traveler programs, such as Free And Secure Trade (FAST), SENTRI, and NEXUS.
- FAST processing was expanded to 11 additional ports on both borders, helping to ensure that low risk trade participants will receive expedited clearance and entry, even when they operate outside of the larger ports.
- In Fiscal Year 2006, 124 new partners were certified and are now eligible for FAST benefits. Additionally, 8,169 new drivers were approved for participation in the FAST program. This growth to trade partners provides a safer environment by facilitating the entry and clearance of low risk trade and allowing CBP Officers to focus on higher risk movements.
- We deployed the Global Enrollment System at 11 NEXUS locations and 9 SENTRI locations, and trusted traveler program enrollments increased to 275,000.
- We opened new SENTRI lanes (expedited CBP processing lanes for pre-approved, low-risk travelers) at 7 locations.
- We deployed license plate readers and upgrades at land border locations to allow for decreased inspection time and increased accuracy readings.
- We continued to expand the deployment and use of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE), which provides CBP Officers and the trade community with information and automated features that streamline the entry and processing of international shipments. As of the end of Fiscal Year 2006, there were 61 ACE ports with nearly 4,000 ACE portal accounts, including nearly 700 importer accounts, more than 450 broker accounts, and nearly 3,000 carrier accounts.
- To reduce processing times for incoming land cargo, we developed and deployed ACE R4 (truck manifest) to an additional 35 land border locations bringing the total deployment to over 50 sites. As a result, over 75% of all shipments arriving by land now arrive in an ACE port.
- We piloted the revised small boat reporting procedures in Florida and upgraded the Pleasure Boat Reporting system, thus expediting the processing of low risk boaters and allowing us to focus enforcement efforts on high-risk boaters.
- We provided support to the Rice Chertoff Initiative (RCI) in establishing two model international ports of entry at Washington/Dulles and Houston Intercontinental airports. This initiative seeks to make travel to America a more welcoming experience through improved technology and efficiency, the development of secure travel documents for the 21st century, and improved information sharing.
- We developed a National Cargo Release plan for agriculture inspections and the Pest Identification Authority initiative with USDA, which will expedite the release of cargo.
Protecting U.S. Industries and Consumers
- In Fiscal Year 2006, the Office of International Trade was established within CBP. This action realigned the national trade policy and planning functions of CBP into one office without creating either dual reporting mechanisms or overlapping, redundant management structures that would disrupt the closely interrelated activities of "front line processors" such as import specialists, entry specialists, fines and penalties specialists, and CBP Officers.
- We effected nearly 600 textile seizures for the fiscal year, totaling over $112 million.
- The most significant trade enforcement gains were in intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement. The total value of IPR seizures increased by 67 percent from $93.2 million in FY 2005 to $155.3 million in FY 2006. The volume of IPR seizures also rose dramatically, from around 8,000 to almost 15,000, in Fiscal Year 2006.
- Noteworthy was the seizure of over 300,000 counterfeit electrical extension cords for violation of the Underwriter's Laboratories (UL) trademark. These cords present potential shock and fire hazards to consumers. The seizure of these cords was the largest for violation of the UL trademark in CBP history.
- We, along with our other federal agency partners in the Security and Prosperity Partnership for North America, developed an Intellectual Property Rights Action Strategy with Canada and Mexico to create a "fake free North America."
Supporting the CBP Workforce and Mission Operations
- The CBP offices of the Border Patrol, Human Resources, Internal Affairs, Budget, Training and Development, and Logistics, developed and began implementation of a strategy for meeting the President's goal of hiring, training, equipping and deploying 6,000 new Border Patrol Agents to the border by the end of Calendar Year 2008. We exceeded our FY 2006 hiring target - an essential prerequisite for achieving the President's goal.
- We continued to prove our self a sound steward of taxpayers' dollars - effectively managing a $7.2 billion budget and receiving an unqualified opinion on our first stand-alone, full-scope financial statements audit.
- To ensure that the reputation and honor of our dedicated employees is not compromised by those few who put their own interests above those of our country and its citizens, we put in place a variety of programs designed to prevent corruption within the agency.
In 2006, U.S. Customs and Border Protection made significant strides in securing our nation's borders at and between the ports of entry. But the challenges to our Nation's security continue. And just as they have done in the past, the men and women of CBP will meet these challenges to protect America's borders and all that we treasure within them.