EL PASO, TEXAS—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas and New Mexico recorded 110 enforcement actions this week. CBP officers intercepted drug smugglers, illegal immigrants, fugitives and other violators during the course of the day.
"The threat remains high and we remain vigilant," said Ana Hinojosa, director of field operations in El Paso. "It is important that the residents of our community understand that CBP officers are working hard everyday to identify and stop any and all violations they encounter. They have to inspect all arriving people and they are finding those that are in violation of our laws."
CBP officers working at area ports this week recorded 63 immigration violations. Intended immigrants made up a large group of the violators. A total of 35 were identified through thorough document exams. In these cases, individuals will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. Violators generally lose their documents and are returned to Mexico. The balance of the immigration violations included false claims to citizenship, impostors, visa overstays, alien smugglers, counterfeit documents and people entering the country without proper inspection.
CBP officers working at area ports made 15 drug seizures during the week including 993 pounds of marijuana in 14 busts and less than one pound of heroin in one additional seizure.
CBP agriculture specialists working at area ports this week made 18 seizures of prohibited food and agricultural items resulting in $3,500 in fines being assessed. Prohibited items seized included pork, ham, bologna, pork lard, chorizo, chicharones, oranges, apples, guavas, peaches, potatoes, and live plants. It is important that people understand that these items are prohibited because they pose a threat of illness or disease to people, livestock or the agriculture industry.
CBP officers working at area ports also identified 12 people who were fugitives or otherwise being sought by law enforcement agencies. They also recorded two export violations. While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
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.