PRESIDIO, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Presidio Port Director Daniel Mercado was formally sworn into office this morning at a CBP change of command ceremony. Family, friends, colleagues, and local dignitaries gathered as Mr. Mercado recited the oath of office during a ceremony at the Presidio Activity Center.
“It is both my honor and privilege to have been chosen to lead the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Presidio” said Port Director Daniel Mercado. “ Together with my team, we will work to ensure CBP continues its legacy of professionalism, integrity and dedication to the community. I look forward to working with all stakeholders and partners to ensure my team serves the community with the highest level of professionalism in ensuring the safety and economic vitality of the region.”
As the Port Director, Mr. Mercado will direct operations and enforcement activities and provide management and administrative oversight of CBP officers, Agriculture Specialists, and Canine Enforcement Officers at the Presidio port of entry and Boquillas international crossing. Mr. Mercado provides guidance to the areas under his leadership through policy implementation and quality management.
Mr. Mercado will work to ensure that the agency’s primary mission of preventing terrorists or weapons of terror from entering the United States is accomplished daily. Mr. Mercado is also responsible for all immigration issues related to the admission and exclusion of people applying for entry into the United States. He is also in charge of customs and agriculture inspections at the ports of entry to ensure that all goods and people entering the United States do so in accordance with U.S. laws and regulations, while ensuring that they are efficient in their processing to support the global marketplace and the international tourism industries.
Port Director Mercado began his federal career in January 1991, enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. Following his tour of duty he attended the University of Texas San Antonio, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in Latin American history.
In 2000, Mr. Mercado joined the United States Border Patrol assigned to the Tucson Sector, Naco station, where he quickly achieved recognition for his role in identifying, tracking, and apprehending smugglers operating in the Naco area of operations. In 2001, he transferred to Laredo, Texas as an Immigration Inspector where he gained extensive knowledge of narcotics smuggling and immigration trends along the southwest border resulting in multiple successful prosecutions for narcotics and human smuggling.
From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Mercado served as a Supervisory CBP Officer in Toronto, Canada, overseeing frontline operations, special alien registrations, and trusted traveler programs at the busiest preclearance airport. In 2010, he was selected as the first Integrity Officer for the Laredo Field Office and was responsible for drafting CBP integrity policy and comprehensive integrity practices to include the nationwide deployment of real-time targeting and analysis programs capable of identifying officer processing anomalies. In 2015, he was promoted to Supervisory Program Manager overseeing 22 different programs to include CBP recruiting, resulting in national recognition for innovative approaches in stakeholder engagement, community partnerships to facilitate the CBP mission.
Between 2017-2020, Mr. Mercado held the role of Deputy Director Mission Support, Watch Commander, and Port Director during some of the most complex and challenging times along the southwest border. In this capacity he oversaw the movement of over 1,500 nationwide CBP personnel deployed to support USBP and CBP operations along the southwest border, procured over $1.5 million in equipment and enforcement assets, and maintained an exhaustive inventory of equipment and supplies ensuring the continuity of CBP operations. Additionally, he led bilateral discussions with Government of Mexico and law enforcement partners in the Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras area and successfully engaged Mexico to partner with CBP in ensuring the security and economic vitality of the region.
In 2021, Mr. Mercado was selected as a southern border subject matter expert and was critical in the establishment of the CBP WATCH in Washington DC, responsible for developing new reporting, intelligence collection and trend analysis for field operators. Most recently Mr. Mercado served as the CBP liaison to the Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement in Guatemala City, Guatemala where he was responsible foreign partner engagement, establishment of mobile checkpoints, trade facilitation task force, and the strategic deployment of biometric and advanced passenger targeting systems for the country of Guatemala resulting in increased security and increased trade opportunities for the northern triangle countries.
Mr. Mercado has two daughters, Isabella, and Alyssa, both graduates of Texas A&M university system receiving undergraduate degrees in nursing and international studies. Currently Isabella is employed as a registered nurse in Laredo, while Alyssa is pursuing a master’s degree of international affairs from the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
CBP Field Operations in 2008 adopted formal change of command ceremonies as another way to unify the workforce and highlight the agency mission. Since its inception in March 2003, CBP has developed and implemented standards, policies, and symbols to advance the internal and external recognition of the agency and to demonstrate the strides the agency has made as the guardians of the nation’s borders. The change of command ceremony is designed to meet those goals.