CBP Announces Arizona Joint Field Command
TUCSON, ARIZ.—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) today announced the Arizona Joint Field Command (JFC)-an organizational realignment to integrate CBP's border security, commercial enforcement, and trade facilitation missions to more effectively meet the unique challenges faced in the Arizona area of operations. The JFC complements the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) unprecedented investments in border security by expanding coordination and bringing greater unity to enforcement efforts.
"Over the past two years, the Department has deployed historic levels of personnel, resources, and technology to the Southwest border. This approach is working-illegal immigration is declining, deportations are increasing, and crime rates have remained flat or gone down," said Secretary Janet Napolitano. "The creation of the Arizona Joint Field Command will complement these unprecedented investments by leveraging all of our assets to secure the border and enforce our nation's immigration laws while facilitating the flow of legitimate travel and trade."
CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin has appointed Chief Patrol Agent Jeffrey D. Self as Commander of the JFC. As Commander, Chief Self will oversee all CBP operations throughout Arizona, and will be responsible for the operational lay down for the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson and Yuma Sectors, the Office of Field Operation's Tucson Field Office as well as the Office of Air and Marine's Yuma and Tucson Air Branches.
"Chief Self has more than 21 years of distinguished service as a U.S. Border Patrol agent," Commissioner Bersin said. "Under his leadership, the JFC will allow us to more effectively and efficiently fulfill our mission to secure the nation and continue to facilitate legitimate trade and travel across our borders."
Since launching the Southwest Border Initiative in March 2009, the Obama administration has engaged in an unprecedented effort to bring focus and intensity to Southwest border security, coupled with a reinvigorated, smart and effective approach to enforcing immigration laws in the interior of our country.
The Border Patrol is better staffed than at any time in its history, having doubled the number of agents from approximately 10,000 in 2004 to more than 20,700 in 2010. Further, DHS has doubled the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel assigned to Border Enforcement Security Task Forces; increased the number of intelligence analysts working along the U.S.-Mexico border; quintupled deployments of Border Liaison Officers; deployed thousands of technology assets - including mobile surveillance units, thermal imaging systems, and large-and small-scale non-intrusive inspection equipment - at and between the ports of entry; and begun screening of southbound rail and vehicle traffic for the illegal weapons and cash that are helping to fuel the cartel violence in Mexico.
As a result of these investments, in fiscal years 2009 and 2010, CBP seized more than $104 million in southbound illegal currency - an increase of more than $28 million compared to 2007-2008. In total, CBP and ICE seized more than $282 million in illegal currency, more than 7 million pounds of drugs, and more than 6,800 weapons along the southwest border in FY 2009 and 2010 - increases of more than $73 million, more than 1 million pounds of drugs and more than 1,500 weapons compared to 2007-2008. Border Patrol apprehensions-a key indicator of illegal immigration-have decreased 36 percent in the last two years and are less than one third of what they were at their peak; violent crime in border communities has remained flat or fallen in the past decade; and statistics have shown that some of the safest communities in America are along the border.
For more information about the Department's unprecedented efforts to secure the Southwest border, visit the dhs.gov Web site.