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Securing America's Borders: CBP Fiscal Year 2009 in Review Fact Sheet

Release Date: 
November 24, 2009

During fiscal year 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection made significant progress through targeted operations, increases in staffing and training, additional infrastructure and better technology, along with the support of the President and Congress, to meet its border security mission, while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.

All figures pertain to FY09 unless otherwise noted.

Organizational Development

  • CBP seized more than 4.75 million pounds of narcotics during FY09.
  • CBP personnel encountered more than 224,000 inadmissible aliens and apprehended more than 556,000 at and between air, sea and land ports of entry.
  • During the same time period, CBP ports of entry apprehended more than 9,500 people wanted for a variety of charges, to include serious criminal crimes such as murder, rape, and child molestation.
  • CBP continued to increase its workforce in FY09. The entire CBP workforce increased 10 percent during fiscal 2009 to 57,519 from 51,553 during FY08. CBP officers increased to a total of 21,294 and CBP agriculture specialists increased to 2,394. This increased the total number of officers by 7 percent and agriculture specialists by 5 percent. CBP also increased Border Patrol agent staffing by 15 percent, from 17,499 in FY08 to 20,119 at the end of FY09.
  • The Office of Border Patrol met the goal of hiring 6,000 Border Patrol agents and employed more than 18,000 agents before the end of the 2008 calendar year. Applications came from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, other U.S. territories and overseas. More than 10,000 applications came from the border states of California, Texas and Arizona. Military veterans accounted for 23 percent of newly hired agents.
  • CBP experienced growing diversity as nearly one in three employees currently working in the border security agency are Hispanic. CBP's 31.5 percent Latino labor force outpaces the national civilian force, which is 10.7 percent Latino Americans.
  • As a result of targeted outreach to underrepresented groups and recruitment activities, the number of women in CBP's workforce increased by nearly 1,200 employees during FY09.
  • The Canine Program expanded the implementation of new canine initiatives. The recent training and deployment currency/firearm detector dog teams doubled the number of currency/firearms detection teams deployed and tripled the number on the Southwest Border.
  • CBP significantly enhanced its ability to provide timely and actionable intelligence to its operational components and mission partners by successfully piloting Intelligence Coordination Team (ICT), a field intelligence capability and organization. Planned deployment of ICTs, and Intelligence and Operations Coordination Centers, will provide CBP and its mission partners an integrated, end-to-end intelligence capability.
  • The global downturn evident in decline of commercial imports. The preliminary total for year end import value is at $1.7 trillion, a decline of 25 percent or $600 billion from the all time high of $2.3 trillion in FY 2008. Preliminary data for other key indicators were also lower, including revenue collections, down by 15 percent, and entries filed, were down 15 percent. At the close of FY09 most indicators show that imports stabilized to levels seen in FY05.
  • Commercial trade enforcement actions remain constant. Through the end of FY09, CBP initiated more than 18,000 trade enforcement seizures valued at more than $300 million, which is comparable to FY08 enforcement levels. These include violations of intellectual property rights (IPR) having a preliminary count of 14,841 seizures with a total domestic value of $260.7 million. Textile quota seizures declined this year with a change in the laws eliminating quotas from China, however, import safety related seizures maintained FY08 levels at about 2,600 total seizures. Through the end of FY09, CBP initiated 488 commercial fraud penalties, compared to 453 in FY08, assessed at $98 million. Audits continue to be an effective tool for CBP in addressing larger importers beyond transaction by transaction reviews, with 345 completed audits, and collections of $24.9 million in revenue.

Between Ports of Entry

  • Border Patrol agents improved border security, reducing the number of apprehensions along the border by 23 percent in FY09. During FY09 the Border Patrol apprehended 556,041 compared with 723,825 during FY08. El Paso Sector saw a 51 percent reduction in apprehensions, the Tucson Sector saw a 24 percent reduction in apprehensions, and the Rio Grande Valley Sector saw a 19 percent reduction in apprehensions.
  • Border Patrol made significant progress with denying illegal entry to aliens from countries other-than-Mexico (OTM). Apprehensions in FY 09 dropped 15 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.
  • Border Patrol seizures increased significantly. In terms of weight, total narcotics seizures increased in FY09 by 57 percent. Marijuana seizures were up in FY09 by 58 percent over FY08, and cocaine seizures increased 18 percent. Heroin seizures saw the most significant increase with a 316 percent jump compared to the previous year.
  • Border Patrol continued to inform would-be border crossers of the dangers of border crossing. For FY09, border rescue incidents rose 12 percent. There was a 1 percent increase in the number of lives saved along the Southern border this fiscal year. This can be attributed to the increase in certified First Responders and the increase in volunteers to the Border Patrol Search Trauma and Rescue Unit.
  • Violence against Border Patrol agents decreased with a two percent decrease in assaults on agents compared with FY08.
  • The highly successful Operation Streamline continued in the Del Rio, Yuma, Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol sectors resulting in an increase in criminal prosecutions and a reduction in apprehensions. Similar prosecution initiatives are also in Tucson and El Paso sectors. Operation Streamline targets illegal immigrants apprehended in specific enforcement zones for immediate prosecution for illegal entry. Violators face punishment of up to 180 days in jail. Additionally, deportation procedures are initiated to formally remove the individual once they complete their jail sentence.

At Ports of Entry

  • FY09 outbound currency seizures amounted to more than $57.9 million and outbound weapons seizures totaled 433.
  • FY09 was the Office of Field Operations' most successful drug enforcement year in the past five fiscal years as measured by kilo weight seized. Specifically, FY09 seizures were up 53 percent for cocaine, 19 percent for marijuana and 11 percent for ephedrine. Outbound currency seizures went up 74 percent in a year-to-year comparison.
  • During FY 09, CBP officers seized more nearly 1.5 million pounds of narcotics, arrested 38,964 suspected criminals.
  • CBP officers at 327 ports of entry inspected 361.2 million travelers and more than 108.5 million cars, trucks, buses, trains, vessels and aircraft.
  • CBP agriculture specialists seized more than 1.5 million prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 166,727 agricultural pests at ports of entry.
  • As part of CBP's efforts to secure our nation's ports of entry, CBP's Container Security Initiative (CSI), remains operational in 58 seaports, in 32 countries worldwide. 86 percent of the maritime containerized cargo destined for the U.S. originates or passes through a CSI port, affording the U.S. government the opportunity to identify and examine the highest risk containers. In FY09, over 56,000 examinations were performed overseas as part of the CSI program.
  • CBP enhanced the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program by adding Mexican Long Haul Carriers, and Foreign Port Terminal Operators to the program. In June, a Mutual Recognition Arrangement was signed with Japan, increasing the number of mutual recognition arrangements to four (CBP also has mutual recognition arrangements with Canada, Jordan, and New Zealand). In FY09, C-TPAT's 187 Supply Chain Security Specialists (SCSS) completed more than 2,500 validations in 90 foreign countries.
  • CBP installed Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology at 39 major entry points along the U.S borders with Canada and Mexico. The RFID technology, which was successfully installed at 354 vehicle lanes, will help speed travel and further enhance border security. Use of RFID enables swifter processing at border crossings for travelers using new state-of-the-art travel documents. These documents are the result of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
  • CBP also launched a national television, print and online advertising campaign to educate the public about new travel document requirements on June 1 under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
  • The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) secure document requirements were successfully implemented at all nation's land and seaports on June 1. WHTI implements a key 9/11 Commission Recommendation and statutory mandate. U.S. and Canadian citizens, ages 16 and older, must present a secure travel document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the U.S. CBP's initial assessment of the initial implementation of WHTI, indicates no discernable negative impact to border operations. Travel document compliance rates continue to remain high for U.S. and Canadian citizens. There is a 95 percent national compliance rate, 98 percent in the northern border and 93 percent in the southern border. Travelers are presenting the requested documents when crossing the border.
  • Global Entry is a customer service and security program designed to expedite the screening and processing of pre-approved, low-risk U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents traveling from abroad to the U.S. The pilot program started at George Bush Intercontinental, John F. Kennedy International and Washington Dulles International airports and expanded to 13 additional airports: Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Honolulu, Las Vegas, Newark, N.J., Orlando, Fla., Sanford, Fla., Philadelphia, San Juan, Puerto Rico, San Francisco and Seattle. More than 22,000 members enrolled.
  • CBP deployed 179 new radiation portal monitors (RPM) throughout the nation's ports of entry, bringing the number of RPMs to 1,354 at the nation's land and sea ports of entry. These deployed RPMs allow CBP the capability to scan 100 percent of all mail and express consignment mail/parcels; 99 percent of all truck cargo and 98percent percent of the personally owned vehicles entering from Canada; 100 percent of all truck cargo and 100 percent of the personally owned vehicles arriving from Mexico; and approximately 98 percent of all arriving sea-borne containerized cargo for illicit radiological/nuclear materials.
  • Working with airports, airlines and the travel industry, CBP expanded the Model Ports Initiative to 18 additional airports. This joint venture between federal agencies, the travel industry, airlines and airport authorities was designed to improve our processes for clearing and welcoming travelers into the U.S. The 18 airports were selected based on the locations with the largest number of foreign visitors arriving annually. Selected international airports include: New York (JFK), Miami, Los Angeles, Newark, Chicago (O'Hare), Honolulu, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Orlando, Detroit, Boston, Las Vegas, Sanford (Fla.), Seattle, Philadelphia, San Juan and Ft. Lauderdale.

International Trade

  • CBP trade efforts strike a balance between facilitation and trade enforcement. Compliance levels in FY08 and preliminary levels for FY09 are at 98.6 percent and 98.5 percent respectively. This provides CBP with a measure of confidence that most imports into the U.S. are materially compliant for trade purposes, and provides a basis for partnership programs such as Importer Self-Assessment (ISA). ISA members are vetted carefully, and are considered to be among the most highly compliant importers, and are accorded benefits such as an increased level of cargo facilitation. The ISA program has grown by more than 10 percent this year, to 194 importers.
  • Modernization continues to be a top priority for trade. FY09 saw several major achievements, primarily in the delivery of the first major functional release of the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). This first release allows importers to file entries for the most common types of commercial importations, and provides both CBP and the importing community greater access to information.
  • The number of seizures for intellectual property rights (IPR) violations declined by one percent from 14,992 in FY08 to 14, 841 in FY09. The domestic value of goods seized decreased by four percent to $260.7 million from $272.7 million. China continued to be the top trading partner for IPR seizures in FY09 with a domestic value of $204.7 million, accounting for 79 percent of the total value seized. Footwear was the top commodity seized in FY09 with a domestic value of $99.7 million, which accounted for 38 percent of the entire value of infringing goods. The category of jewelry appeared on the top commodities list for the first time, accounting for 4 percent of the total value of IPR seizures by domestic value.
  • Regulatory Audit completed 345 audits of importers and other parties involved in the process of importing goods in FY 2009 and had another 233 audits in progress. Regulatory Audit identified approximately $61.8 million in recommended recoveries, including user fees, and collected about $26.5 million in revenue.

Air and Marine Operations

  • CBP Office of Air and Marine seized more than 1,350,000 pounds of marijuana and cocaine and $33 million during more than 100,000 flight hours flown. Included in these figures, CBP P-3 operations accounted for the disruption and seizure of approximately 260,000 pounds of cocaine and intercepted eight Self-Propelled Semi Submersibles (SPSS) in the Transit zone.
  • CBP Office of Air and Marine opened the UAS Operations Center in North Dakota at Grand Forks Air Force Base. Almost immediately, this unit gained national attention for its support during the Red River Valley Floods of 2009, where the UAS completed more than 30 hours of flight time mapping the flooded areas of North Dakota and Minnesota.
  • CBP Office of Air and Marine established 11 new Marine Units to improve the agency's intelligence-gathering and it response to maritime threats. The unit placement will also increase response capabilities to interdict vessels attempting to approach our shores within the most likely transit corridors.
  • CBP Office Air and Marine provided airspace security and air support for the Presidential Inauguration. This event represented an unprecedented level of intra-departmental cooperation, collaboration and operational synergy. CBP Air and Marine also provided airspace security to help ensure that the American public was safe from threats of terrorism during the Super Bowl and other high profile security events.
  • CBP Office of Air and Marine accomplished strategic achievements in acquisition and contracting that will help provide the tools to support our essential missions in the future. Our P-3 fleet increased the number of operational aircraft from 4 in 2005, to 11 by mid-October 2009. The incorporation of SeaVue Maritime Radar into the P-3 aircraft has increased the detection effectiveness of these vessels. Air and Marine took possession of its first "M" model UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with funding to purchase a total of four "M" model Black Hawk helicopters, which are updated, multi-engine turbo-shaft helicopters, capable of reliably operating in a broad spectrum of law enforcement operations.
  • CBP Office of Air and Marine also continued to acquire new vessels in 2009, and now has more than 220 marine assets. In March, Air and Marine took delivery of the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator vessel, or ACTD. This vessel has traveled to marine units around the country to enable our Marine Interdiction Agents to assess its capabilities and provide input in its performance, efficiency and comfort. With the proactive acquisition and re-modernization of our air and marine assets, Air and Marine has continued to build a fleet that meets the challenges of today, tomorrow and into the future.

Secure Border Initiative

Tactical Infrastructure

  • CBP completed a total of 279 miles of new fencing this fiscal year in addition to 338 miles of pedestrian fence and 298.5 miles of vehicle fence already completed.
  • Completed a re-baselining effort for all of the fence mileage. By using OBP's geospatial information system as the standard for data collection, the newly baselined mileage for current planned and constructed fence (both vehicle and pedestrian) reflects the most current information available and displays it in a consistent manner.
  • Began CBP's first Carrizo Cane Removal project. The Laredo Sector Carrizo Cane Removal and Control Pilot Project was CBP's the first effort to remove and control Carrizo cane along the Rio Grande River. The first phase of the pilot project spanned a 1.1 mile stretch of the Rio Grande River, which was selected because it posed the most significant challenge to the Border Patrol Laredo Sector. Cane removal activities were largely completed in July 2009.


  • Completed SBInet Block 1 System Qualification Testing (SQT) Phase 1: SQT is a critical testing phase on the path to initial deployments of the SBInet Block 1 system to Arizona. This testing occurred in a representative operational environment in Playas, NM. SQT ensured the suite of integrated sensors (day and night cameras, radars, and unattended ground sensors) and the Common Operating Picture (COP) that displays and integrates the sensors are working properly, and meet the system design requirements. This phase demonstrated the effectiveness of the SBInet design, and highlighted some technical deficiencies that would be addressed in SQT Phase 2 in fall 2009.
  • Completed SBInet Production Design: Production design for SBInet's initial operational deployments in Arizona is complete. Full demonstration and validation of the SBInet "Block 1" technology solution will occur as part of initial deployment at the Border Patrol's Tucson Station and Ajo Station, which will cover approximately 53 miles of international border.
  • Completed Tucson-1 (TUS-1) Tower Construction: Construction on TUS-1 towers began on May 4 and finished on August 14, 2009. All 17 communication and sensor towers in the project area were constructed (including four existing, modified towers), and sensor packages were installed in preparation for initial integration testing.
  • Completed Command and Control (C2) Facility Modification: As part of the TUS-1 project, SBInet completed modification of the Tucson Sector Headquarters C2 Facility on May 29. In this facility, Border Patrol agents will monitor the Common Operating Picture that is the information and images on border activity sent to headquarters from the integrated set of tower-mounted and ground sensors that deployed in the Tucson Station. Similar work began for the Ajo-1 modular C2 facility in late August.
  • Project 28 (P-28) Apprehensions and Seizures: The P-28 prototype system continues to provide operational utility to Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector. As of early October, P-28 is credited with assisting in 5493 apprehensions and the seizure of 15,897 pounds of marijuana.
  • Began Construction on Northern Border Towers: On September 2, SBInet began construction of 11 Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS) in the Detroit Sector. On May 6, SBInet began construction of 5 RVSS sites in the Buffalo Sector. The Northern Border Project will provide RVSS surveillance capabilities in the Detroit and Buffalo Border Patrol Sectors using technology already in use along the Southwest Border.
  • Completed Environmental Documents for the Ajo-1 Project: In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) were completed and distributed for the public comment period, which ended October 10, 2009. The Draft EA and FONSI were prepared to assess the potential impacts associated with the proposed siting, construction, operation, and maintenance of sensor and communications towers and supporting infrastructure components within the Ajo-1 project area.

Information and Technology

  • Processed 2,857 forensics cases, including 2195 cases of controlled substances, 240 fingerprint lifts and examinations, 60 audio/video duplications, 55 audio/video recoveries/enhancements, and 53 crime scenes and DNA developments.
  • Received and adjudicated 7,408 Weapons of Mass Destruction hotline requests for technical assistance at the Tele-forensics Center. These calls came from CBP, SFI, USCG, and Mega-ports. Many inappropriate radioactive shipments were returned to their country of origin.
  • CBP implemented the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a new online system that is part of the Visa Waiver Program and is required by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. ESTA became mandatory January 12, for all nationals or citizens of visa waiver countries who plan to travel to the United States for temporary business or pleasure under the VWP. Travelers under VWP must now have an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a U.S.-bound airplane or cruise ship. The requirement does not affect U.S. citizens traveling overseas. By the end of FY'09, CBP received 160,999 ESTA applications and denied 616 for a 99.62 percent approval rating.
  • Successfully designed, developed, and deployed eAllegations, a system designed to facilitate the submission and management of trade violation allegations electronically. e-Allegations is available to the general public and trade community via and is proving to be a valuable tool in reducing intellectual property rights violations, among other trade violations.
  • Successfully deployed Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Release A2.2, Entry Summary functionality, on April 12. This release automated two entry types which comprise 96 percent of all entry importations. Also met the ACE Periodic Monthly Statements performance target of 50 percent of all duties and fees being collected via ACE, and achieved eight months of 99.9 percent availability for ACE.
  • Achieved a score of 100 percent for Certification and Accreditation and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) security control testing on the CBP FY 2009 FISMA scorecard. Also completed 100 percent Security Test and Evaluation of CBP systems security controls, as required by FISMA.
  • Established Full Operating Capability for the primary Network and Security Operations Centers for the DHS enterprise network, with steward operational control over DHS Headquarters, CBP, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • Executed Big Pipe real-time video services for the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, multiple state and local governments, and Mexico, providing connectivity for critical missions. Big Pipe coordinated across component lines to transmit, receive, and broadcast aerial video for events such as the 2008 hurricane season, which effected areas of Texas, the Presidential Inauguration ceremonies in January, the Red River flood in North Dakota, and Mexican border surveillance.
  • Made significant advances on the Systems Availability Project, which will address the design, development, acquisition, and deployment of Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) technology and services to provide an integrated, redundant, common LAN/WAN infrastructure and ensure availability of CBP's IT systems.
  • Completed 2,857 analysis reports on a total of 26,811 samples of crime scene evidence submitted by CBP officers and ICE agents, such as fingerprints, audio/visual enhancements, computer chip analysis, narcotics, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Opened the new laboratory facility for the Southwest Regional Science Center in Houston, Texas on June 29. The center has operational capabilities for compliance related classification and safety issues; latent print processing; controlled substance detection and analysis; Weapons of Mass Destruction and Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear, and Explosive screening, detection and identification; crime scene investigation; and satellite laboratory operations.
  • Implemented Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Full Operating Capability on October 15. ESTA handles the Visa Waiver Program application process and provides initial vetting of the application as well as continuous vetting for approved applications. The ESTA Web site supports 21 languages. ESTA checks are included as part of the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) pre-departure checks for airlines for arrival processing at air and sea ports of entry.
  • Implemented the US-VISIT 10-Print processing to replace the original 2-Print processing. 10-Print processing was deployed to over 2,600 lanes for air, land, and seaports nationwide. Over 90 percent of all US-VISIT fingerprint transactions are now completed through the 10-Print process.
  • Made significant progress on TECS Modernization in FY09, implementing the Officer Reference Tool, developing Secondary Inspections which were implemented at the first site on October 13, and completing the requirements, design and beginning construction for High Performance Query.
  • Supported Pre Departure Terrorist Screening by implementing Electronic APIS (eAPIS) General Aviation for private aircraft operators to submit their flight manifest information for screening; on boarding carriers for APIS Quick Query (AQQ) so they can submit passenger data at check in and receive a real-time response about the status of the passenger for boarding; and coordinating with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to support Secure Flight domestic operations and TSA's planning for taking on international pre-departure screening currently handled by AQQ.
  • Successfully deployed numerous Secure Freight Initiative (SFI): Security Filing (10+2) and Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) system releases this fiscal year, enhancing capabilities available to both the trade and CBP officers.
Last modified: 
February 9, 2017