Tucson, Ariz. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Joint Field Command-Arizona today announced the results of Fiscal Year 2011 border security and enforcement efforts in Arizona.
The agency's top official in Arizona, Jeffrey D. Self, Commander of the Joint Field Command-Arizona, acknowledged the people behind the 2011 border enforcement and trade and travel facilitation results:
"The continued commitment of CBP employees at all levels during the year contributed immeasurably to our homeland security," he said. "These results illustrate the huge impact this agency has had on improving border enforcement and increasing efficiencies."
U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson and Yuma Sectors made 129,118 apprehensions in FY 2011, a 41 percent reduction from the previous year. This is a level not seen in 17 years.
There was a 23 percent decline in the number of border deaths and rescues, another indication that fewer people are making the potentially deadly trek through the Arizona desert.
CBP officers and Border Patrol agents in Arizona seized approximately 1.2 million pounds of narcotics and $13.3 million in undeclared currency.
At Arizona's ports, CBP agriculture specialists seized almost 63,000 prohibited items (plant materials, meat, animal byproducts, etc.); intercepted more than 4,200 pests and conducted more than 359,000 examinations on cargo containers. Officers and agriculture specialists conducted these enforcement actions while processing approximately 21.7 million travelers.
Additionally, CBP officers arrested 380 people wanted for crimes such as murder, rape, assault, robbery and other criminal activity. In addition to those arrested at Arizona's ports, CBP officers identified 6,794 individuals as inadmissible for national security, insufficient or fraudulent documents and other admissibility concerns.
The Office of Air and Marine from Tucson and Yuma Air Branches logged a combined 15,036 flight hours and assisted with 21,336 of the total apprehensions.
Although significant gains have been made, Self acknowledged there is still work to be done. "CBP in Arizona will continue to improve border security and trade and travel facilitation in Arizona," he said.
Through the expansion of trusted traveler programs and trade initiatives, CBP in Arizona is collaborating with the trade community and travel industry on mutually beneficial solutions to shared challenges.
"We will build on programs designed to streamline the flow of trusted traffic through our ports while maintaining vigilance against any threats to our nation's security and economic competitiveness," said Self.
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.