COLUMBUS, N.M. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Columbus Port Director Jesus L. “Louie” Chavez was formally sworn into office this morning at a CBP change of command ceremony. Family, friends, colleagues, and local dignitaries gathered as Mr. Chavez recited the oath of office during a ceremony at the Columbus port of entry.
“It is an honor and a privilege to lead the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection working here at the Columbus port of entry,” said Port Director Louie Chavez. “I am committed to having this port deliver the finest level of service to the travelers and business community who use our facilities while also maintaining our vital homeland security mission.”
As the Port Director, Mr. Chavez will direct operations and enforcement activities and provide management and administrative oversight of CBP officers, Agriculture Specialists, and Canine Enforcement Officers at the Columbus and Antelope Wells ports of entry. Mr. Chavez provides guidance to the areas under his leadership through policy implementation and quality management.
Mr. Chavez 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. Chavez 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 Chavez commenced his federal service in December 1987 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Following his tour Mr. Chavez joined the U.S. Customs Service in El Paso as an inspector in December 1991. Mr. Chavez served in a variety of collateral duties during his time as a U.S. Customs Service inspector to include serving as a firearms instructor, defense tactical instructor, training officer; recruiter; equal opportunity counselor; and contraband enforcement team member.
In January 2003, Mr. Chavez was promoted to the position of Supervisory U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer at the Columbus port of entry. Mr. Chavez was promoted to assistant Port Director of the Santa Teresa port of entry in July 2005. In August 2015, Mr. Chavez was assigned to the Office of Trade Operations at the El Paso field office.
Mr. Chavez transferred to the Marcelino Serna port of entry in November 2018 as assistant Port Director. In April 2021, Mr. Chavez was appointed acting Port Director of the Presidio port of entry and was officially promoted to the Presidio port director post in August 2021.
Currently, Chavez is actively involved in various programs, including peer support; veterans support; diversity and inclusion; national fact finder; and CBP mentorship. Port Director Chavez has an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice-Homeland Security from El Paso Community College; a Certificate of Completion in Criminal Justice-Law Enforcement from El Paso Community College; a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems from University of Phoenix; and a Master of Business Administration in Technology Management from University of Phoenix.
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.