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 131 enforcement actions this week. CBP officers intercepted drug smugglers, illegal immigrants, fugitives and other violators during the course of the day.
"Enforcement activity is constant and recurring at the area border ports," said Ana Hinojosa, director of Field Operations in El Paso. "CBP officers remained vigilant and focused on their job, which is protecting the U.S. public from any and all threats which may present themselves at area ports. This work is important to our country, but even more so to our local community."
CBP officers working at area ports this week recorded 72 immigration violations. Intended immigrants made up a large group of the violators. A total of 45 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 10 drug seizures during the week including 588 pounds of marijuana in eight busts and less than one pound of cocaine and heroin in two additional seizures.
Prohibited food intercepts continued at a slightly higher than normal rate this week. CBP agriculture specialists working at area ports made 16 seizures of prohibited food and agricultural items resulting in $4,400 in fines being assessed. Prohibited items seized included pork, chorizo, fresh eggs, oranges, apples, sweet limes, tangerines guavas and sapotes. 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 24 people who were fugitives or otherwise being sought by law enforcement agencies. They also recorded six vehicle export violations and seized unreported currency, prohibited medications, and contraband Cuban rum.
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.