CBP Integrated Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands 2011 Review
San Juan, P.R.- U.S. Customs and Border Protection components in the Caribbean; the San Juan Field Office, the Ramey Border Patrol Sector and the Caribbean Air and Marine Branch, joined this week in the national announcement which released year-end data on fiscal year (FY) 2011 border enforcement and management efforts, highlighting trends that reflect the Administration's ongoing commitment to securing the border and facilitating legitimate trade and travel.
The success is a reflection of the continued efforts with other Federal, State and Local law enforcement within the Caribbean to generate reductions in illicit activity throughout the area.
"In 2011, CBP made important contributions to our nation's homeland security and economic vitality," said CBP Commissioner Alan D. Bersin. "These numbers illustrate the investments made by CBP to improve border security, increase efficiencies and facilitate the flow of legal travel and trade through our nation's borders and land ports of entry."
In Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, CBP officers and agents seized over 19,000 pounds of narcotics with an estimated street value of approximately $154 million, and seized approximately $7.3 million in unreported currency in FY 2011.
The Caribbean Air and Marine Branch played a major role in the determent of illegal activity throughout our coasts, through the coordinated use of integrated air and marine forces to detect, interdict and prevent the unlawful movement of people, illegal drugs and other contraband in the area. Approximately 10,250 pounds of narcotics and $2.1 million in currency was seized by CAMB this fiscal year.
Ramey Border Patrol agents patrol coastal areas in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and work to secure a safer environment as they prevent, deter, and arrest illegal aliens and narcotics that try to enter our area. During FY 2011, Ramey agents apprehended 642 undocumented aliens between the ports of entry; prosecuting 154 for violating federal immigration law based on illegal reentry. This represents a 61% increase from FY 2010. Regarding drug seizures, over 2,180 pounds of narcotics were seized by Border Patrol agents during FY 2011.
CBP Officers and Agriculture Specialists, on the other hand, work to protect our borders at the ports of entry while facilitating legitimate trade and travel. CBP processed approximately 4.8 million travelers and 109,085 containers through our ports of entry during FY2011.
During this time, CBP officers arrested 345 people wanted for crimes, including murder, rape, assault, and robbery and denied entry to more than 2,937 people attempting to enter the U.S. through an air or sea port of entry in our area.
CBP Agriculture Specialists seized more than 17,490 prohibited plant materials, meat, and animal by products and intercepted nearly 4,040 pests. Approximately 20 insects intercepted at our ports this year have been determined to be "first time in port/nationwide and/or new pests".
There were also important interceptions as for example, the interception of Quail Eggs, Bird Feathers and Pilot Whale Meat, referred for action to the Fish and Wild Life Administration.
Also this fiscal year, CBP in the San Juan Field Office processed nearly $40.24 Billion in trade, an increase of 15.52% from FY 2010 to FY 2011. CBP officers conducted more than 83 seizures of trade violations in general including, but not limited to Intellectual Property Rights, Health and Safety Commission, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Department of Transportation, and Environmental Protection Agency violations, with a domestic value of approximately $3.9 million.
At the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport this year, approximately 614 new travelers requested and were enrolled in the agency's Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry) designed to expedite screening for low-risk travelers and commerce through rigorous, recurrent background checks. At the San Juan Office of Field Operations, over 400 small vessel owners enrolled in the Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS), a program that expedites processing of small vessels through advance screening. The Port of San Juan is within the 5 top port locations for SVRS requests in the nation.
During the past fiscal year, CBP also increased its collaboration with federal, state, local, and international partners to combat individuals and criminal organizations that pose a threat to our communities. This collaboration results in interventions at and beyond our borders. Through the Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG), the estimated flow of illegal migrants through the Mona Passage has registered a 90% decrease in a five year period of performance.
In FY 2011, DHS awarded $54.8 million in Operation Stonegarden grant funding to support state and local law enforcement efforts in border communities. In Puerto Rico, the municipalities of Aguadilla, Cabo Rojo, Lajas, Ponce, Yabucoa and Ceiba, have benefited from the program. Participating municipalities in Puerto Rico have their police force work in unison with Border Patrol agents fusing knowledge, experience, assets and jurisdictional authorities in an effort to deter illegal activities, develop actionable intelligence and help protect our coastal communities.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.