Comprehensive Policy Governs CBP’s Interaction with Individuals in its Custody
WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently issued uniform national standards governing CBP’s interaction with detained individuals. This agencywide policy – U.S. Customs and Border Protection National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search (TEDS) – includes provisions on transport, escort, detention and search of detained individuals. TEDS also includes requirements related to the prevention of sexual abuse and assault, the treatment of personal property, and the care of at-risk individuals in custody including children and families.
“As highly accomplished and dedicated law enforcement professionals, CBP personnel are committed to ensuring the safety, security, and care of people in our custody. Through this consistent and clear policy, CBP further reinforces this duty,” said Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske. “Our expectation is for CBP employees to treat all individuals they come in contact with dignity and respect.”
Among the most significant features, TEDS:
- Addresses the inventory, retention, and return of an individual’s personal property such as identification documents, medications, currency, and legal papers. These items will be itemized and safeguarded until their return to the owner;
- Contains detailed language pertaining to hold room and detention standards such as temperature, meals, clean water, and hygiene; and
- Includes language on gender identity, which was not previously included in the individual component policies. Specifically, whenever feasible, officers and agents who conduct a search or are present at a medical examination must be of the same gender, gender identity, or declared gender as the individual being searched.
TEDS serves as a foundational policy for the agency with each operational office, United States Border Patrol and the Office of Field Operations, augmenting it through their respective policies and procedures. The comprehensive policy document is grounded firmly in the experience and policies of these operational offices. It incorporates best practices developed in the field, and it reflects key legal and regulatory requirements.