Washington - U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees welcomed the arrival of Commissioner Alan Bersin today, following his appointment by President Obama Saturday.
Commissioner Bersin oversees the operations of CBP's 57,000-employee work force and manages an operating budget of more than $11 billion. CBP's mission is to protect the nation's borders at and between the ports of entry from all threats while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.
"I believe CBP's strength is based on the diligence, dedication, and patriotism of our people," said Commissioner Bersin. "I am delighted to be at the helm of such a superb organization and look forward to getting to work."
Commissioner Bersin is CBP's third Commissioner following former Commissioner's Robert C. Bonner and W. Ralph Basham. Former Commissioner Bonner was the first Commissioner at CBP's inception March 1, 2003.
CBP's operational offices include the Office of Field Operations, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Office of Air and Marine and the Office of International Trade. CBP oversees operations at 327 air, land and sea ports of entry and along 7,000 miles of border with Canada and Mexico as well as 2,000 miles of coastal waters surrounding the Florida peninsula and off the coast of Southern California. The agency also protects 95,000 miles of maritime border in partnership with the United States Coast Guard.
Previously, Commissioner Bersin served as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security. In that capacity, he served as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's lead representative on border affairs and strategy regarding security, immigration, narcotics, and trade matters as well as for coordinating the Secretary's security initiatives on the nation's borders.
On a typical day, CBP officers process almost one million passengers and pedestrians at ports of entry, more than 57,000 truck, rail and sea containers and more than 271,000 incoming privately owned vehicles. CBP officers and agents also apprehend more than 2,100 people, refuse the entry of more than 600 people and arrest more than 100 criminals at ports of entry.