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CBP Access

How to Use the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)

ACE is the U.S. electronic Single Window platform for all trade processing, including all Manifest, Cargo Release, Post-release, Export and Partner Government Agency (PGA) data. Trade users can access ACE via two channels: The ACE Secure Data Portal (ACE Portal) and electronic data interchange (EDI). Deciding on which ACE access method is needed depends on the specific trade activity. Review the information below to determine what is needed to successfully connect with ACE.

CBP Access | September 2022

CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to

DHS – and by extension, CBP – is statutorily mandated to develop and implement an integrated, automated entry and exit data system to match records, including biographic data and biometrics, of noncitizens entering and departing the United States. This CBP Access update highlights CBP’s latest biometric technology enhancements and processes that increase border security, protect the privacy of travelers, and integrate with current travel infrastructure.

–Stephanie Talton, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Congressional Affairs

Assessing CBP's Use of Facial Recognition Technology: CBP's Statement for the Record

Biometric camera

CBP submitted a Statement for the Record for a July 27 hearing on, “Assessing CBP’s Use of Facial Recognition Technology,” before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation and Operations.  The statement outlines CBP’s statutory mandate, brief history of technology testing and pilots, as well as the advancement and implementation of biometric facial comparison technology.

In a section describing its technology CBP states, “CBP’s biometric facial comparison technology standardizes, automates, and enhances manual processes by making them more efficient, accurate, and secure. The Traveler Verification Service is the cloud-based, facial biometric matching service that is the foundation for CBP’s biometric verification processes at U.S. ports of entry.”

The use of biometrics stems from the 9/11 Commission Report which instructed CBP to biometrically confirm visitors in and out of the United States. As technologies have evolved, facial comparison has become the most efficient solution:

  • During boarding or arrival, a traveler's photo is taken where they would normally present a passport for inspection.
  • The photo is compared against an existing passport or visa photo.
  • A CBP officer interviews the traveler to validate results, establishes the purpose and intent of travel, and determines admissibility.
  • All traveler photos of U.S. citizens are deleted, and no photos are ever shared with industry partners.
Woman using biometric facial comparison technoloy

Today, millions of travelers have already experienced the benefits of Biometric Facial Comparison technology. CBP developed TVS to be scalable and applicable to all modes of travel. CBP has successfully implemented facial biometrics into the entry/arrivals processes at all international airports, 26 seaports, and all pedestrian lanes at both the Southwest border and the Northern border land POEs.

CBP is committed to traveler privacy and uses biometric facial comparison technology only at specific times and locations where travelers are already legally required to present proof of identity. CBP and its approved travel partners notify travelers through message boards, electronic signs, and sometimes audio announcements to explain the process and to notify eligible travelers of the “opt out” rights.

CBP has an ongoing public awareness campaign to increase traveler knowledge of the facial comparison program. For more information, please review CBP's Statement for the Record and visit

CBP Publishes Its Privacy Evaluation Report of the Traveler Verification Service 

CBP officer using mobile technology

As part of its continuing effort to promote organizational accountability and transparency, CBP released a report of the Traveler Verification Service (TVS) – CBP’s biometric facial comparison technology – as part of its Biometric Entry-Exit (BE-E) Program. CBP’s Privacy and Diversity Office conducted a CBP Privacy Evaluation of the BE-E Program’s use of TVS in accordance with the conditions outlined in the 2018 TVS Privacy Impact Statement, to determine whether the BE-E Program collects, maintains, uses, and shares information using the TVS in compliance with the privacy mitigations described in its PIA, the DHS Privacy Policy Guidance Memorandum on the Fair Information Practice Principles, and the CBP Directive for Privacy Policy, Compliance, and Implementation.

The report found that CBP is utilizing TVS in support of the BE-E Program in a manner that is compliant with requirements in current privacy compliance documentation, DHS/CBP policy, and U.S. law.

Woman using biometric facial technology at port of entry

The report defines the requirements and reviews actions, findings, and any recommendations for system use, including issues regarding transparency, individual participation, purpose specification, data minimization, use limitation, data quality and integrity, security, accountability, and auditing.

For additional information on CBP’s biometric facial comparison technology, please visit

CBP Hosts Twitter Chat to Expand Public Awareness of Biometric Technology

Graphic for biometric travel chat

On August 3, CBP hosted a live Twitter chat answering questions on CBP’s use of biometric facial comparison technology and discussing how it allows for a more seamless, secure, and safer travel experience. Below is a sample of the questions and answers:

Q1: With facial biometric/paperless entry, will form 6059B still need to be typed in at the kiosk?

A1: For our Trusted Traveler Programs we are working towards converting all of our kiosks to touchless and paperless forms. For more information visit:

Q2: Do you have any experiences of challenges faced especially dark-skinned women in regards to facial recognition? Their passports are defined more than others?

A2: CBP uses a high-performing algorithm that is continually evaluated, and we also partnered with @NIST as part of this process. We have seen no measurable difference in performance based on demographics.

Travelers using biometric technolgoy

Q3: How long is my image stored? Do I have to update it like a driver’s license photo every couple of years?

A3: CBP compares photographs already on file (Passport, Visa, Previous entries). CBP discards U.S. citizen photos within 12 hours. Updating your photos is not required. CBP enrolls the majority of non-U.S. citizen travelers in the DHS Biometric Identity Management System as a biometric confirmation of entry or departure and retains the photos for up to 75 years.

Q4: I have the same name as a bad person. Got redress#. Still being pulled out of line and released. Will this help? Didn’t at Canada border 1mo ago.

A4: Yes, it will help confirm your identity at locations where facial biometrics is available. For a full list of locations where biometric entry/exit is deployed, visit

Traveler using biometric technology in sea environment

Q5: Wondering if returning home from abroad without a passport of U.S. what supposed to do, how to advise CBP officer in advance?

A5: If your passport is lost, visit

Q6: Are the biometrics that are collected and retained used for purposes other than ensuring an efficient travel experience? How do you maintain the privacy of the individuals whose biometrics are collected? Is there interagency sharing of this data for purposes of national security?

A6: CBP’s facial biometric program is used solely to verify identity at a time and place where an individual would normally expect to present themselves for identity verification. CBP is committed to its privacy obligations and has taken steps to safeguard the privacy of all travelers. CBP provides privacy notice to travelers through signage, tear sheets, the CBP website and other channels. DHS has issued over 10 Privacy Impact Assessments on the Entry/Exit program describing the collection, use, storage, and maintenance of data collected through biometric facial comparison technology. For more information visit

Q7: CBP normalizes surveillance technologies, like facial biometric apps, by suggesting it is necessary for streamlined and secure travel. And who will have access to the data? For how long with the data be retained?

Biometric technology in sea environment

A7: CBP’s collection for facial biometrics for entry and exit processing is not surveillance. CBP is merely automating the manual ID check currently used at ports today, which will further secure and streamline travel while protecting the privacy of all travelers.

Q8: What companies are you working with to provide this capability on a large scale?

A8: CBP’s Office of Information Technology developed the Traveler Verification Service, the backbone for CBP’s facial biometric program, for implementation and deployment to all ports of entry.

For additional information, and to participate other CBP travel-related discussions on Twitter, follow @CBP or search for the #CBPTravelChat hashtag.

Enforcement News from Across CBP

CBP officer patch

U.S. Citizen Wanted for Capital Murder Repatriated to the United States

El Paso, TX — On September 21, CBP officers coordinated with local, state, federal and international agencies to repatriate a 20-year-old male, U.S. citizen, wanted for capital murder. The individual, who had been captured in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, by Mexico State Police officials, was escorted to the international boundary line secondary inspection where biometric verification confirmed his identity along with the active warrant for capital murder multiple persons. The individual was arrested by CBP officers and turned over to the United States Marshals Service.

USBP patch

Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Agents Arrest Convicted Murderer

Del Rio, TX — On September 13, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Uvalde Station in the Del Rio Sector arrested a man convicted of murder, shortly after he illegally entered the United States.  After apprehending a group of undocumented migrants, Agents transported the group to the Eagle Pass Processing Facility. Record checks revealed that one subject, Reggie Alfredo Larios-Lopez, 43, of Nicaragua, was convicted of multiple felonies, including murder, in 1996 in Miami and sentenced to four years of confinement. Larios-Lopez has been twice deported, most recently in June of this year. As a convicted felon, he faces a charge of 8 USC § 1326 – Re-entry after Deportation, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

AMO aircraft using hoist capability for rescue operations

AMO Agents Deploy New Hoist Rescue Aircraft Capability

Aguadilla, PR — In early August, the CBP Caribbean Air and Marine Branch (CAMB) conducted its first UH-60 hoist rescue of a migrant trapped on a rocky cliff and immediately made this new capability available to assist with Hurricane Fiona rescue operations. The CAMB currently has two hoist capable UH-60 aircraft that have been made available to federal and state response authorities to respond and recover after Hurricane Fiona. CBP Air and Marine agents continue to see an increase in maritime migration events where people end up in the water. Because of these situations, AMO agents are testing and evaluating several new tools and pieces of equipment to help save lives.

Office of Congressional Affairs | September 2022


CBP Access | August 2022

CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to

July and August were hallmark months for CBP’s trade facilitation and enforcement mission starting with the agency’s first CBP Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit in Anaheim, California. With more than 3,000 attendees from across the trade community – 1,000 on-site and 2,000 virtually – it was the first time since the pandemic that CBP was able to hold a trade event of this magnitude. August also marked the 10th anniversary of CBP’s entry into force of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and kicked off the back-to-school shopping season for many American families and educators. This year, CBP teamed up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to educate unsuspecting consumers on how to avoid scammers looking to take advantage of the busy time by selling fake and potentially dangerous counterfeit products.

–Stephanie Talton, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Congressional Affairs

CBP Hosts First Trade Summit

Commissioner Magnus addresses the audience at the 2022 Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit

CBP recently gathered with its trade partners for the agency’s first Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit. The summit was held from July 18-20 in Anaheim, California, and combined two of CBP’s signature trade events – the annual trade symposium and the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) conference. It was also the first time CBP had hosted a large in-person trade event since the pandemic began two-and-a-half years ago. The three-day event focused on the multitude of challenges facing the trade community as well as CBP’s forward-looking strategy to address the constantly changing trade environment. 

Forced Labor

The summit highlighted CBP’s commitment to leading the global fight against forced labor and the agency’s continuing efforts to evaluate and improve its targeting processes and overall enforcement posture. In his remarks during the summit, Commissioner Magnus stated, “So far in fiscal year 2022, CBP has detained approximately 2,000 shipments worth an estimated $358 million for suspected forced labor.” Magnus also noted that CBP is not only prohibiting products suspected of having been produced with forced labor from entering the United States but is also engaging with foreign entities to remediate forced labor condition instigating real change for thousands of workers around the world. CBP continues to work in close partnership with the trade community in the implementation of forced labor enforcement programs, including the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, to minimize disruptions to legitimate goods and supply chains.

CBP Green Trade Strategy and Global Engagement

Graphic for the "CBP Green Trade Strategy"

CBP’s Green Trade Strategy was one of the numerous agency initiatives Commissioner Magnus highlighted during his opening remarks. The strategy is aimed at lowering carbon emissions and addressing the impacts of climate change as it relates to trade. Commissioner Magnus introduced the strategy as a key CBP trade priority and stressed the importance of advancing environmental protection efforts in conjunction with our international counterparts and industry partners.

Discussing how global engagement is imperative to effective trade enforcement and facilitation, Commissioner Magnus shared CBP’s intent to nominate Ian Saunders as the U.S. candidate for Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, an independent, international body dedicated to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of customs organizations.  Mr. Saunders, currently a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, has more than 30 years’ experience in customs and international trade. As the moderator for the summit’s customs capacity building session, Mr. Saunders discussed the importance of a global perspective as it relates to trade facilitation, especially in a trade environment focused on post-pandemic economic recovery. “Trade facilitation is something that reduces the costs of trade,” said Saunders. “It has a significant impact on the decisions that companies make about where they want to invest, how and what the global supply chains will look like, and where they’ll be located.”

21st Century Customs Framework

Abstract graphic with cargo ship and words "Trade Reimagined: 21st Century Customs Framework"

Another summit panel focused on the 21st Century Customs Framework, a CBP initiative that addresses current and future trade challenges and modernization barriers. CBP is cognizant of the need to stay modern to meet the challenges of an evolving trade landscape.  New actors, industries, and modes of conducting business have emerged, disrupting the traditional global supply chain. The panel discussed how it has been nearly three decades since the last major, comprehensive overhaul of customs authorities and how the landscape in which CBP and the trade industry operates has changed drastically. The 21st Century Customs Framework seeks to achieve end-to-end supply chain transparency; drive data-centric decision-making; and identify and allocate risk to appropriate parties.  AnnMarie Highsmith, the executive assistant commissioner for CBP’s Office of Trade, further elaborated on the 21st Century Customs Framework initiative during the summit. “The 21st Century Customs Framework is our holistic effort to update our authorities, policies, and regulations. We want to ensure that we are not just keeping up with the Joneses, but that we are the Joneses in the international trade arena,” said Highsmith.

Cybersecurity and Trade

Another summit session focused on cybersecurity in the trade environment. Panelists spoke about the scope of the issue, CBP’s current level of preparedness, and the steps the trade community can take to protect their companies from cyberattacks. The frequency of cybersecurity attacks is staggering. Assistant Commissioner Sanjeev Bhagowalia, CBP’s chief information officer, noted that CBP’s sees almost 100 million attempts on its systems every day. The attackers seek to infiltrate industry systems as well. CBP’s deputy chief information security officer, D. Scott Davis, also remarked during the session that according to intelligence reports, “supply chain compromises were up 48% in 2020 as well.”

Operational Trade Advancements

In terms of operational trade advancements, Diane Sabatino, the deputy executive assistant commissioner of the Office of Field Operations, spoke at the summit about a new system – the Vessel Entrance and Clearance System – that will digitize and automate the entry and clearance process for vessels. “With the automation, we are forecasting that CBP will save thousands of man hours,” Sabatino noted, “which will allow us to focus our resources on threats where we need to be hands-on.” Sabatino also talked about technological advancements in CBP’s trade processing operations such as the scheduling of perishable goods inspections using the CBP One™ mobile application.

20 Years of CTPAT


The final day of the summit was devoted to Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT). A series of panel discussions were held with topics ranging from an overview of the CTPAT program to presentations on virtual validations, recent smuggling trends and minimum security criteria to a workshop on CTPAT’s trade compliance program and forced labor requirements.

Created with just seven companies in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, CTPAT now has more than 11,000 members and led the way for the creation of the SAFE Framework of Standards at the World Customs Organization and the expansion of the concept of the Authorized Economic Operator. CTPAT is, “a partnership program that is the foundation of CBP’s layered strategy for security. The layered strategy includes such things as advanced electronic data, automated systems, our National Targeting Center, the Container Security Initiative, and the deployment and use of non-intrusive inspection equipment,” said Thomas Overacker, the executive director of CBP's cargo and conveyance security division. The CTPAT program, “fundamentally changed the relationship between government and the trade community. We went from a relationship of regulator and regulatee to a relationship of true public-private partnership.”

Commissioner Magnus also gave glowing praise to CTPAT. “This program continues to be one of our most valuable partnerships that we have with industry. And by taking the steps to become CTPAT members, you’re not only bolstering our security capabilities, but you also help us to take a risk-based approach to facilitate cargo into the country,” said Magnus, noting that the program’s current compliance rate of 99% is the highest level it has ever been.

Customs Signing Ceremony

Commissioner Magnus signs a mutual recognition arrangement with the customs administrator of Guatemala

One of the highlights of the summit was the signing of a mutual recognition arrangement between CBP and the customs administration of Uruguay as well as the signing of joint work plans with the customs administrations of Guatemala and Colombia. A mutual recognition arrangement is a bilateral understanding between two customs administrations, which provides a platform for the exchange of membership information and recognizes the compatibility of the respective supply chain security programs. That program is CTPAT for CBP. With the signing, CBP now has 15 mutual recognition arrangements with other countries including one accounting for multiple countries with the European Union. A joint work plan is a document that lays out the path toward mutual recognition between two customs administration’s supply chain security programs. At the conclusion of a joint work plan, both customs administrations decide if a mutual recognition arrangement is feasible and should be pursued.

Back-to-School: Business and Law Enforcement Team Up to Protect Students, Parents, and Teachers from Counterfeit Goods

Graphic showing woman and child shopping for school supplies

CBP joined forces with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this summer to raise awareness about the dangers of counterfeit goods by providing ten tips to “Shop Smart” for back-to-school basics. Counterfeiters take advantage of the busy time by luring customers with convincing advertisements and low prices, but shoddy or potentially harmful products and materials are not worth the risk. Fake backpacks, pencils, and electronics threaten students’ safety and cost parents more money over time.

Leaders across government and the business community understand the dangers of counterfeits and are taking action to protect customers. For example, Nike Inc. donated proprietary technology to CBP via its Donations Acceptance Program to aid in authenticating a variety of its merchandise and prevent counterfeit products from entering the United States.  CBP rigorously enforces intellectual property rights on imported products and, as of August 2022, has made almost 17,000 seizures of counterfeit goods worth an estimated $2.4 billion, had the goods been genuine.  However, businesses and CBP cannot do it alone. Counterfeit products cost the global economy over $500 billion a year. That is why the Chamber of Commerce partnered with CBP to raise awareness nationwide to educate Americans – especially back-to-school shoppers – about the dangers of counterfeits.

Customs Commissioners Commemorate 10-Year Anniversary of U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

Flags of Korea and the United States placed on a conference room table

On August 5, 2022, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus met with Korea Customs Service Commissioner Mr. Yoon, Tae-sik for the 17th U.S.-Korea Customs leadership meeting in Washington D.C. The meeting was held in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of CBP’s entry into force of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

The two customs authorities discussed cooperation to expand trade between the two countries, ensure joint trade facilitation and supply chain security, and block dangerous goods at the border. They also discussed and agreed on ways to improve the performance and utilization of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, cooperation in risk management such as the exchange of marine cargo information, and cooperation in the Container Security Initiative (CSI). The Container Security Initiative is a program operated by CBP in cooperation with customs authorities around the world to inspect container cargo shipments scheduled to arrive in the U.S. CSI Busan has been operational since 2003, and the two customs authorities agreed to start work to expansion of the operating framework of CSI Busan. 

The two customs authorities also discussed the significant expansion of trade volumes between the two countries over the past decade due to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, agreed in principle to pursue a data-sharing arrangement for risk management of cargo across both borders, and agreed to establish a communication channel between CBP and Korea Customs Service to quickly share and resolve difficulties related to import and export issues and concerns raised by private companies in both countries.

Enforcement News from Across CBP

Photograph of bags of seized counterfeit Beats earphones

CBP Officers at the Champlain Port of Entry Seize Counterfeit Beats Earphones

Buffalo, NY — CBP officers from the Champlain Port of Entry Cargo Facility intercepted a shipment of counterfeit Beats earphones. During a shipment examination, officers discovered zip lock bags of wired earphones located within the shipment. A physical inspection of the items revealed Beats Tour earphones that appeared to be of poor quality with no labels or invoices. In coordination with the Electronics Center of Excellence and Expertise, it was determined that the items were counterfeit and violated the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of the manufacturer. Furthermore, CBP Import Specialists helped to determine the earphones had a total Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) value of more than $25,000.

Photograph of seized ancient Egyptian artifact

CBP Officers in Memphis Intercept Ancient Egyptian Artifact

Memphis, TN — On August 17, CBP at the port of Memphis intercepted an ancient Egyptian artifact shipped from Europe. The shipment was manifested as an antique stone sculpture and sent from a dealer to a private buyer in the United States. CBP worked with subject matter experts at the University of Memphis Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology to determine that the artifact was authentic. It is an Egyptian canopic jar lid of the funeral deity named Imsety. Canopic jars were used to hold the internal organs of mummies and Imsety specifically protected the deceased’s liver. The lid is likely from the Egyptian Third Intermediate Period, 1069 BC to 653 BC, making it potentially 3,000 years old. The artifact is on a list of items protected by bilateral treaties and falls under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act of 1983. The item was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation.

CBP officers inspecting cargo at a land port of entry

CBP Officers in New Mexico Seize Counterfeit Solar Panels

Santa Teresa, NM — CBP officers working at the Santa Teresa port of entry recent intercepted a shipment of counterfeit solar panels with a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price of $1,420,856.64. On July 4, CBP officers working at the Santa Teresa cargo facility conducted an operation focused on solar products and IPR infringements. During the operation, CBP officers targeted a shipment of solar panels deriving from Vietnam for potential IPR violation and placed the merchandise on hold for examination. The shipment was carefully examined and on July 15, the merchandise was declared to be counterfeit by the rightful trademark owner. A total of 9,072 crystal silicone photocell modules were seized pursuant to 19 USC 1526(E), as implemented by 19 CFR 133.21

Office of Congressional Affairs | August 2022


CBP Access | July 2022

CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to  

CBP is committed to being a leader in law enforcement accountability and transparency. As part of its ongoing efforts to improve data transparency and access, CBP’s June 2022 operational update coincided with the reorganization of the Stats and Summaries webpage and launch of the CBP Public Data Portal. The Portal allows public users to download the underlying aggregate data used to generate the interactive data dashboards on, including Drug Seizures, Encounters, Travelers and Conveyances, and other major activities. These statistics demonstrate how CBP’s broad and complex mission is not only vital to the security and safety of our country, but also integral to the recovery and growth of our economy. 

–Stephanie Talton, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Congressional Affairs

CBP Releases Operational Update

CBP recently released operational statistics for June 2022, covering all major areas of operations, including travel and trade, forced labor enforcement, drug seizures, and nationwide border encounters.

Border Encounters for June 2022

Nationwide encounters dashboard graphic
Dashboard link:

The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a higher-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts, which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border. 

  • Nationwide Encounters: The number of unique individuals encountered nationwide in June 2022 was 153,379, a 14 percent decrease in the number of unique enforcement encounters than the prior month. CBP Nationwide Total Encounters for FY22TD through June: 2,002,604.
  • Southwest Border Encounters: There were 207,416 encounters along the southwest land border in June, also a 14 percent decrease compared to May. Of those encounters, 26 percent involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months, compared to an average one-year re-encounter rate of 15 percent for FY 2014-2019.
  • Title 42 and Title 8: In June 2022, 92,274 encounters, 44 percent of the total, were processed for expulsion under Title 42. 115,142 encounters were processed under Title 8.
  • Single Adults: More than two-thirds (68 percent) of all southwest land border encounters were single adults, with 140,197 encounters in June, a 16 percent decrease compared to May.
  • Unaccompanied Children: Encounters of unaccompanied children increased 4 percent, with 15,271 encounters in June compared with 14,678 in May. In June, the average number of unaccompanied children in CBP custody was 752 per day, compared with an average of 692 per day in May.
  • Individuals in Family Units: Encounters of family unit individuals decreased by 13 percent from 59,534 in May to 51,780 in June—which is 40 percent decrease from the peak of 86,631 in August 2021.

Ongoing Migration Management Efforts

Photograph of large group apprehended at the border

CBP continues to enforce U.S. immigration law and apply consequences to those without a legal basis to remain in the U.S. Current restrictions at the U.S. border have not changed; single adults and families encountered at the southwest border will continue to be expelled, where appropriate, under CDC’s Title 42 Order.  Those who are not expelled will be processed under the long-standing Title 8 authority and placed into removal proceedings.

Under Title 8, those who attempt to enter the United States without authorization, and who are unable to establish a legal basis to remain in the United States (such as a valid asylum claim), will be quickly removed.  Individuals who have been removed under Title 8 are also subject to additional long-term consequences beyond removal from the United States, including bars to future immigration benefits. 

DHS has been implementing a comprehensive strategy to manage the number of border encounters. The strategy includes: 1) Acquiring and deploying resources to address increased volumes; 2) Delivering a more efficient and fair immigration process; 3) Processing and removing those who do not have valid claims; and 4) Working with other countries in the Western Hemisphere to manage migration and address root causes.

Facilitating Lawful International Travel and Trade

CBP officer processing travelers at an airport

One of CBP’s core mission objectives is to enhance the nation’s economic prosperity, including through the facilitation of lawful trade and travel. CBP continues to protect America’s national and economic security by facilitating legitimate trade while rigorously enforcing U.S. customs laws and regulations.

In all travel environments, CBP continues to process increasing numbers of arriving travelers without any significant delays. In June 2022, CBP processed 9,783,474 arriving air travelers, an increase of 99.9 percent compared to June 2021 and a 1701 percent increase compared to June 2020.  Travelers who are non-U.S. persons are allowed to enter the United States for non-essential travel via land ports of entry and ferry terminals, provided they are fully vaccinated and have appropriate documentation. The updated guidelines also allow most non-immigrants (non-U.S. citizens and other covered persons) who are fully vaccinated to travel by air to the United States, regardless of the reason for travel.

CBP also continues to work closely with the trade community and port operators to meet the growing demand for imported goods by strengthening international supply chains, improving trade enforcement, and ensuring that lawful merchandise is inspected and cleared as expeditiously as possible.  In June 2022 alone, CBP processed more than 2.96 million entry summaries valued at more than $302 billion, identifying estimated duties of nearly $8.7 billion to be collected by the U.S. government. Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods continue to threaten the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, the livelihoods of American workers, and the health and safety of consumers. In June 2022, CBP seized nearly 1,223 shipments that contained counterfeit goods valued at more than $166 million.

Furthermore, in June 2022, CBP agriculture specialists helped protect America’s agriculture, natural resources, and economic prosperity by conducting 85,855 positive passenger inspections and issuing 593 civil penalties and/or cargo violations. CBP also issued 5,618 emergency action notifications for restricted and prohibited plant and animal products entering the United States. 

Drug seizure dashboard graphic
Dashboard link:

Drug Seizures

CBP officers, Border Patrol agents, and Air and Marine Operations agents continue to interdict the flow of illicit narcotics across the border. Nationwide, overall drug seizures by weight were up 25 percent in June compared to May:

  • cocaine seizures increased 62 percent;
  • methamphetamine seizures increased 14 percent;
  • heroin seizures decreased 49 percent; and
  • fentanyl seizures decreased 41 percent.

CBP’s Drug Seizure Dashboard provides additional details, including a breakdown of seizures by drug type and CBP component.

COVID-19 Response

Photograph of Border Patrol agent wearing ppe to process an individual at the border

The safety of our workforce, our communities, and individuals in our care is a top priority.  CBP personnel put themselves and their families at risk with every encounter with the public. Since the start of the pandemic, more than 29,673 CBP employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and 64 have passed away. CBP continues to explore adjustments to workforce posture and health protocols based on widespread vaccine access and easing public health metrics.

CBP provides migrants who cannot be expelled under the CDC’s Title 42 order or are awaiting processing with personal protective equipment from the moment they are taken into custody, and migrants are required to wear masks at all times. CBP also provides age-appropriate COVID-19 vaccines to noncitizens taken into CBP custody at the Southwest land border who are determined to be inadmissible pursuant to Title 8. Additionally, CBP works with appropriate agencies that facilitate testing, diagnosis, isolation, and treatment of migrants, including local governments and non-governmental organizations for persons released from CBP custody; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for testing of persons to be released from CBP custody, particularly in locations without local government or NGO testing capability; and Health and Human Services for testing of unaccompanied children. DHS has also developed a partnership model to test and isolate families who test positive for COVID-19, and reimburse 100 percent of the cost, provided that the state does not stand in the way.

Enforcement News from Across CBP

Photograph of cocaine seized in Calexico, CA

CBP Officers in Calexico Intercept Narcotics Worth $8 Million

Calexico, CA — CBP officers from the Calexico Port of Entry intercepted narcotics worth more than $8 million over the course of five days. Between July 13-17, 2022, officers discovered 603 pounds of fentanyl, 187 pounds of methamphetamine and 2.5 grams of marijuana concealed inside travelers’ vehicles and luggage while applying for entry into the United States. The deadly narcotics were discovered by CBP officers after noticing tampering of travelers’ vehicles and unusual travel patterns. The narcotics and vehicles were seized by CBP officers, and the travelers were turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.

Patch on Border patrol agent uniform

U.S. Border Patrol Apprehends Two Groups of More Than 100 Migrants within 72 Hours

Imperial Beach, CA — San Diego Sector Border Patrol agents from the Imperial Beach Station recently encountered two separate groups of migrants totaling 224 people. The first incident occurred July 23, at approximately 6:40 p.m., when agents encountered a group of 123 migrants who illegally crossed into the United States near Imperial Beach.  The second incident occurred on July 26, at approximately 1:45 a.m., when agents encountered a group of 101 migrants who illegally entered the U.S. through a drainage tube.  Smugglers had cut the drainage tube bars with a blow torch, which opened a pathway for the migrants to cross into the United States. All individuals were transported to a nearby station where they were evaluated and cleared by medical personnel. The two groups were determined to consist of citizens from 13 different countries and comprised of 167 single adults and 57 family unit members.

CBP officers making an arrest at a port of entry

CBP Officers in Laredo Apprehend Fugitive Sought for Sexual Offense

Laredo, TX — On July 23, 2022, CBP officers at the Laredo Port of entry detained one male subject wanted for a sexual offense involving a minor.  A CBP officer assigned to the Gateway to the Americas Bridge who was inspecting pedestrians arriving from Mexico referred Juan Geronimo Hernandez, a 32-year-old male United States citizen, for a secondary inspection.  After escorting the passenger to secondary, subsequent biometric verification through law enforcement databases confirmed that the subject had an outstanding felony warrant for indecency with a child sexual contact entered by the Laredo Police Department in Laredo, Texas. The warrant was confirmed to be active. The subject was turned over to the Webb County Sheriff’s Office to await criminal proceedings.

AMO agents discover a hidden compartment in a vessel that is used to smuggle drugs

AMO Agents Interdict Vessel Smuggling 902 Pounds of Cocaine

Aguadilla, PR — CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) agents recently interdicted a vessel with two occupants transporting 902 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $9 million. AMO agents conducting a patrol near Desecheo Island off the western coast of Puerto Rico approached the vessel for inspection. The two occupants indicated that they were fishing. The AMO agents escorted the boat and its occupants to the Mayaguez Marine Boathouse for further inspection. On shore, after a U.S. Border Patrol canine inspection, agents discovered a hidden compartment with 339 bricks of a white powdery substance which tested positive for cocaine. HSI took custody of two men and the contraband.

Office of Congressional Affairs | July 2022


CBP Access | June 2022

CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to

CBP recently announced its intent to nominate Ian Saunders for World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General, a position held by Japan’s Kunio Mikuriya for the past fifteen years. The United States has a long-standing relationship with the WCO, the only intergovernmental organization exclusively focused on customs and border security matters.  CBP serves as the United States’ lead representative to the WCO and is responsible for preparing, coordinating, and advocating U.S. positions on global customs matters, in close partnership with other federal agencies and private sector stakeholders.  This CBP Access update provides a primer on the WCO and how CBP is leading enforcement and facilitation efforts in the global customs community.

–Stephanie Talton, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Congressional Affairs

CBP Announces the United States' Intended Nominee for WCO Secretary General

Deputy Assistant Secretary Ian Saunders
Deputy Assistant Secretary Ian Saunders

CBP announced on Saturday its intention to nominate U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration Deputy Assistant Secretary Ian Saunders to become the next Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

As the U.S. Government’s intended nominee for the WCO’s most senior position, Saunders will stand for election at the June 2023 WCO Council meeting.  If elected by a majority of the 184 customs Directors General who comprise the Council, Saunders will become the first American official to serve as WCO Secretary General since 1999.

“Ian Saunders is a deeply respected member of the global customs community who represents the very best of America’s public service,” said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus. “Ian’s customs and trade expertise, strategic thinking, and diplomatic acumen make him uniquely suited to lead the WCO in this time of rapid global change.”  

At an event in Brussels where the announcement was made, Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders pointed to the WCO’s rich history of solving complex, global customs challenges as his inspiration to pursue the Secretary General position. Saunders discussed his intention to build on that tradition by accelerating the implementation of existing WCO tools, harnessing new technologies, ensuring good governance, and further enhancing customs capacity-building efforts.

Commissioner Magnus and DAS Saunders at Whitlock Hall in Brussels, Belgium, on June 25, 2022
CBP Commissioner Magnus and Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders at Whitlock Hall in Brussels, Belgium, on June 25, 2022

“The global customs community finds itself at a critical moment.  Perhaps at no other time has customs’ central role in trade, and our well-being, been more clear.  The importance of the WCO is equally clear, as it will need to continue supporting its members as they manage pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions, respond to the effects of a changing climate, and prepare for other potential challenges,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders.  “As Secretary General of the WCO, I will focus on the organization providing thought leadership and tools that enable the global customs community to deliver a safe, prosperous, and inclusive future.”

“The global customs community finds itself at a critical moment.  Perhaps at no other time has customs’ central role in trade, and our well-being, been more clear.  The importance of the WCO is equally clear, as it will need to continue supporting its Members as they manage pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions, respond to the effects of a changing climate, and prepare for other potential challenges,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders.  “As Secretary General of the WCO, I will focus on the organization providing thought leadership and tools that enable the global customs community to deliver a safe, prosperous, and inclusive future.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders with the Directors General of Madagascar and Panama
Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders with the Directors General of Madagascar and Panama

Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders has more than 30 years of experience in customs and international trade. He began his career at the former U.S. Customs Service in 1991 and worked his way up to leadership roles in the Senior Executive Service. While serving as Assistant Commissioner of the CBP Office of International Affairs, Saunders led multiple U.S. delegations to the WCO and chaired the organization’s influential Permanent Technical Committee from 2018 to 2020.

In his current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, Saunders is responsible for developing programs, policies, and strategies to strengthen commercial cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. Saunders speaks Spanish and Portuguese and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders at Whitlock Hall in Brussels, Belgium, on June 25, 2022
Deputy Assistant Secretary Saunders at Whitlock Hall in Brussels, Belgium, on June 25, 2022

CBP is the agency responsible for coordinating U.S. Government engagement with the WCO. The United States joined the WCO in 1970 and has been a leader in developing and implementing the SAFE Framework of Standards and other WCO tools that secure and facilitate international trade. Although the United States is an active participant in numerous WCO working bodies, a U.S. official has not led the organization since James Shaver of the former U.S. Customs Service served as Secretary General from 1994 to 1999.

The WCO is the independent, international body dedicated to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of customs administrations. The organization’s 184 members collaborate to establish standards and instruments that reduce the costs of international trade, facilitate the cross-border flow of essential goods, and protect society from unsafe products.

The WCO: A Primer

Photograph of cargo ships at a U.S. port of entry

WCO History and Mission

The WCO emerged with the end of World War II in the mid-20th century and a desire among trading nations to create a standardized tariff nomenclature and valuation system. The Convention establishing a Customs Co-operation Council (CCC), the official name of the WCO, entered into force in 1952 with 17 Contracting Parties. The inaugural session of the CCC Council was held on January 26, 1953 – a day now celebrated as International Customs Day. Today, the WCO (the working name adopted in 1994) represents 184 customs administrations divided into six regions across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the WCO is the recognized voice of the global customs community.

Since its establishment, the WCO has provided leadership in expanding the avenues of international trade and security.  The organization’s successes have advanced several activities, including –

  • development of global standards,
  • simplification and harmonization of customs procedures,
  • security of supply chains and facilitation of international trade,
  • enhancement of customs enforcement and compliance activities,
  • creation of anti-counterfeiting and piracy initiatives,
  • advancement of public-private partnerships,
  • promotion of integrity, and
  • enhancement of sustainable global customs capacity building activities. 

Present-Day Governance and Structure

The WCO recognizes the evolving challenges and expanding responsibilities customs administrations face today.  The WCO relies on collaboration among customs partners, both in the private and public sector, and aims to facilitate cooperation between WCO members at varying states of economic development. All WCO Heads of Customs are part of the Council, which establishes committees, working groups, and technical groups as needed, to examine issues and propose solutions through tools, agreements, and other vehicles. 

The WCO Secretariat, led by a Secretary General, oversees WCO’s daily operations and supports the Council and its working bodies to deliver capacity building, training, technical assistance, and the development of customs tools.  The Secretariat is organized into three Directorates:

  • Tariff and Trade Affairs - responsible for classification, valuation, and origin;
  • Capacity Building - responsible for technical assistance and organizational development; and
  • Compliance and Facilitation - responsible for procedures and facilitation, enforcement, and compliance.

Working out of WCO headquarters, the Secretariat performs several activities, including implementing Council decisions, instruments, and tools; supporting working bodies; translating and publishing reference, training, and promotional documents; providing events and training for customs officers and the private sector; and performing research and policy analysis.

U.S. Customs Flag
Freedom Tower in NYC

CBP and the WCO

The U.S. Customs Service – a legacy CBP agency – traces its origins to 1789, when the First Congress of the United States passed three acts that provided for administering customs tariffs and collecting duties.  Over the years, the role of U.S. Customs Service, and now CBP, has expanded from its traditional revenue collection role to managing additional government activities such as interdicting prohibited goods and substances; protecting domestic industry, public health, and safety; advancing economic prosperity through trade facilitation; securing supply chains; and enforcing intellectual property laws.  Furthermore, CBP is trusted with enforcing laws and policies for which other federal agencies have responsibility, such as agriculture, health, and environment.

As the United States’ lead representative for engagement with the WCO, CBP is an active participant and leader in WCO activities including global customs operations and the drafting and approval of best practices, guidelines, and standards with the goal of – 

Photograph of seized counterfeit merchandise
  • increasing the international exchange of customs information and intelligence;
  • enhancing the essential tools and instruments of the organization;
  • promoting CBP’s security and trade facilitation and trade enforcement objectives;
  • increasing efficiency and predictability for U.S. business and industry;
  • supporting the delivery of capacity building and integrity practices so that other administrations can engage in effective enforcement activities that enhance our own security; and
  • enhancing the governance and administration of the organization.

CBP is a thought leader within the WCO and a leading contributor of capacity building and expertise to the organization and its members. U.S. delegations shape the strategic direction of the WCO through participation in dozens of the organization’s meetings, trainings, operations, and events each year.  The United States holds a seat on the limited membership Policy Commission, which is the WCO’s executive steering group, and the limited membership Finance Committee, which determines how the organization’s finances are managed.

International Standards

Photograph of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks

One of the most important U.S. achievements within the WCO has been the establishment and continued promotion of the WCO’s SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework).  Standards on customs procedures bring transparency, efficiency, and predictability to trade operators, enabling them to reduce compliance costs.  Standards also help customs administrations respond to transaction risks, secure the supply chain, and protect against terrorism and other criminal threats.

CTPAT logo

Following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, CBP’s Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorist (CTPAT) became the model for the world to follow and it became the principles that were embedded into the SAFE Framework, a critical global tool for deterring international terrorism, secure revenue collections, and promote trade facilitation worldwide.  Building on the Framework, in 2007, the WCO’s flagship Customs-Business partnership program - the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) Program - was introduced. Updated in 2021, the SAFE Framework is the global customs community’s concerted response to threats to supply chain security, equally supporting facilitation of legitimate and secure businesses.  CBP continues to dedicate significant resources and expertise to support WCO capacity building assistance – a vital part of the SAFE implementation strategy.

Conventions and Agreements

WCO conventions and international agreements also facilitate and secure world trade by establishing appropriate control standards to ensure security and safety for global societies, economies, and the environment. Some of the key international conventions created or administered by the WCO include:

  • Harmonized System - The Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, generally referred to as "Harmonized System" or simply "HS", entered into force on January 1, 1988, with the objectives to facilitate international trade and related statistics by harmonizing the description, classification, and coding of goods in international trade; reduce the expenses related to international trade; and facilitate the standardization of trade documentation and the transmission of data.  The HS serves as a basis for Customs tariffs (including the basis for U.S. import and export schedules); the collection of trade statistics; the rules of origin; and vital elements of core Customs processing including monitoring of controlled goods, information technology, and compliance.
  • Customs Valuation Agreement - The WTO Valuation Agreement, formally the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994, provides a Customs valuation system that primarily bases the Customs value on the transaction value of the imported goods, which is the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the country of importation, with certain adjustments. With the majority of world trade valued on the basis of the transaction value method, the Agreement provides more predictability, stability, and transparency for trade, thus facilitating international trade while at the same time ensuring compliance with national laws and regulations.
  • CBP agriculture inspecting imported flowers
    Rules of Origin – The Rules of Origin Agreement was implemented in 1994 to provide transparency to regulations, remove unnecessary barriers to trade, and harmonize Non-Preferential Rules of Origin.  Non-Preferential Rules of Origin is an important trade and commercial policy measure related to most-favored-nation treatment; anti-dumping duty; origin marking; and tariff quotas. The Agreement mandates the creation of Harmonized Rules of Origin that will be expected to be used by Member countries for determining origin. The Rules of Origin are still in development, but when complete, the rules will enable both private and public sectors to anticipate and determine a clear and predictable origin by applying a single, standard set of rules.
  • Temporary Admission – The Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet created a system allowing the free movement of goods across borders and their temporary admission into a Customs territory with relief from duties and taxes. The goods are covered by a single document known at the ATA carnet that is secured by an international guarantee system. The term “ATA” is a combination of the initial letters of the French words “Admission Temporaire” and the English words “Temporary Admission”. With this system the international business community enjoys considerable simplification of Customs formalities. The ATA carnet serves as a goods declaration at export, transit and import. The U.S. Council for International Business is the United States’ sole National Guaranteeing Agency for the ATA Carnet, ensuring that any duties and taxes incurred due to misuse of carnets in the U.S. will be paid.
  • Revised Kyoto Convention – The Revised Kyoto Convention entered into force in 2006 and is the blueprint for modern and efficient Customs procedures in the 21st century. The Convention elaborates several key Customs governing principles, including transparency, predictability, and standardization of procedures, documents, and technology. The Convention also sets forth uniform coordination procedures with other border agencies and partnership with the trade.  The revised Kyoto Convention promotes trade facilitation and effective controls through its legal provisions that detail the application of simple yet efficient procedures. The revised Convention also contains new and obligatory rules for its application which all Contracting Parties must accept without reservation.

Enforcement News from Across CBP

Photograph of seized counterfeit motor sensor

CBP Officers in Minneapolis Intercept Counterfeit Car Sensors

Minneapolis, MN — Stopping the dangerous enterprise involving the importation and sale of counterfeit items is one of CBP’s top priorities. CBP officers in Minneapolis recently stopped two shipments of counterfeit General Motors (GM) Brand Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). On May 30, CBP officers inspected a shipment arriving from Hong Kong to determine the admissibility of the shipment and its contents. Based on intelligence gathering and experience, officers suspected the sensors were counterfeit. Because of CBP’s partnership with industry experts, officers reached out to GM’s Global Brand Protection Investigator-Global Security to determine if these items were indeed counterfeit. Within 24 hours GM confirmed that these were indeed counterfeit. These items were officially seized on June 13. The 300 sensors were heading to a residence in Brooklyn Park, and the total Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price would have been $28,500, had they been genuine.

Photograph of seized counterfeit watches

CBP Officers in Louisville Seize One Parcel Work $22.5 Million

Louisville, KY — More than 90% of all CBP counterfeit seizures occur in the international mail and express consignment environments. CBP officers in Louisville recently seized a parcel containing 584 counterfeit designer watches that, if real, would have had a Manufacturer’s Retailed Price (MSRP) over $22.5 million. The counterfeit watches bore two trademarked logos: Rolex and Cartier. The shipment was arriving from an individual in Hong Kong and was destined for a residence in Jamaica, New York.

Office of Congressional Affairs | June 2022


CBP Access | May 2022

CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to

In preparation for the approaching summer travel season, this CBP Access update shares the latest international travel guidance as well as helpful tips to minimize delays and improve the cross-border travel experience.  To help reduce wait times and long lines, U.S. citizens arriving or departing from air, sea or land ports of entry are encouraged to use Simplified Arrival or Mobile Passport Control for a touchless and streamlined inspection process.  Documented non-citizens may also apply for and manage their I-94s through the CBP One mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP mobile applications and services.  These programs – and others described on – are just some of the ways CBP is working to streamline its traveler inspection processes as part of its mission to facilitate safe and secure travel. 

–Stephanie Talton, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Congressional Affairs

Guidance for Individuals Traveling to the United States

Entry at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals — Per Department of Homeland Security (DHS) COVID-19-related entry requirements, all non-U.S. individuals traveling to the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals, whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must:

Official CBP Seal
  • verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • provide proof of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the CDC website;
  • present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card; and,

  • be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a CBP officer during a border inspection.

Although these vaccination requirements to not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals, all travelers are reminded to bring a WHTI-compliant document when re-entering the United States. To help reduce wait times, travelers can take advantage of facial biometrics and CBP One, which is a single portal for CBP mobile applications and services. These requirements for land ports of entry and ferries were first announced in October 2021 in consultation with the White House and several federal agencies, and align with public health measures that govern land travel with those that govern incoming international air travel.

CBP Officer performing arrival processing

Entry at Airports — Before boarding a flight to the United States, all non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrants traveling to the United States by air are required to:

For additional information on vaccine requirements for air travel, please review the CDC international travel information. Travelers are required to declare all items being imported into the United States. Familiarize yourself with what is prohibited and, if you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask the CBP officer.

CBP Surpasses 10 Million Trusted Traveler Program Members

Benefits of joining Global Entry. Text in Graphic contained in body text on webpage

Trusted Traveler Programs support CBP’s mission of securing U.S. borders while facilitating lawful travel and trade. These innovative programs allow pre-approved, low-risk travelers to bypass traditional CBP entry inspection lines and receive expedited processing when entering the United States. 

CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs recently topped 10 million members and is on track to receive an additional 3.5 million applications for this fiscal year, the most the program has ever received in one year.  Nearly 8 million of these memberships are part of Global Entry, which is available at 61 U.S. airports and 15 international Preclearance locations.

Travelers using Global Entry kiosks

CBP continues to address the backlog of applicants caused by pandemic-related closures.  In addition to scheduling in-person interviews for conditionally-approved Global Entry applicants at enrollment centers, applicants may also take advantage of the Enrollment on Arrival option, which CBP now offers to arriving international passengers at 65 airports.  Applicants must comply with the local COVID-19 health and safety guidelines when completing in-person enrollment interviews. Some renewing Trusted Traveler Program members may also opt for scheduling remote interviews through the Trusted Traveler Program website. 

Vehicles in line at the San Ysidro port of entry

CBP Encourages Travelers to Apply for I-94 Online Prior to Arriving at a Land Border 

With the easing of many COVID-19 travel restrictions, CBP is seeing an uptick in travelers at our land ports of entry. To reduce wait times, CBP is urging travelers who require a Form I-94 to apply and prepay online before arriving at the land border. An I-94 is needed by all visitors except U.S. citizens, returning resident aliens, aliens with immigrant visas, and most Canadian citizens visiting or in transit. Travelers will be issued an I-94 during the admission process at the port of entry. If you are traveling via a land border you may apply for an I-94 in advance at, saving time while at the port of entry later.

With summer approaching, wait times will inevitably increase. Travelers who apply for an I-94 online or via the CBP One mobile application prior to their arrival at a port of entry, can save a significant amount of time at the border. Travelers are also encouraged to follow the tips below:

Beat the land border rush – Cross during off-peak times, such as before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m. Most lines at the border start building in the morning and carry on into early afternoon.

Pedestrians at San Ysidro port of entry

Monitor wait times – Visit the CBP Border Wait Times webpage. Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.

Keep travel documents handy – Make sure each passenger has the correct travel document accessible and ready to give to the CBP officer.

Become a Trusted Traveler – If you are a frequent international traveler and have not already become a member of a trusted traveler program, sign up now. For more information, please visit CBP’s Trusted Traveler site.

Know the contents of your vehicles and be prepared to declare all items - Travelers are required to declare all items being imported into the United States from Canada or Mexico. If you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask the CBP officer.

Know what food products can be imported – Many fruits, meats, dairy and poultry products are prohibited from being imported into the United States from Canada or Mexico. For more information, view prohibited and restricted items.

Agriculture canine baggage operations

Declare all firearms – Travelers are reminded that specific requirements must be met to import or export firearms and ammunition to/from the United States. For more information on the importation or exportation of firearms and ammunition visit the ATF website.

Leave marijuana at home – Although marijuana is legal in many U.S. states and Canada, the sale, possession, production and distribution of marijuana all remain illegal under federal law.

For more information on international traveling into the United States visit

CBP Reminds Pleasure Boating Community of Reporting Procedures

CBP ROAM kiosks at partner buisiness
ROAM app screen capture

With the weather warming on U.S. waterways, CBP reminds pleasure boaters to report their off-site U.S. entry using the CBP ROAM mobile app, a free mobile application available personal smart device or a tablet located at local businesses.  Users can now use the CBP ROAM application’s new Cruising License feature that allow users to apply for cruising licenses and report arrivals at domestic ports of call.

CBP ROAM qualifies as an Alternative Inspection System that satisfies the boat operator's legal requirement to report for face-to-face inspection in accordance with 8 CFR 235.1 with some exceptions: travelers who require an I-94; travelers who must pay duties on imported goods; and other circumstances as applicable.

ROAM offers a significant time savings benefit for both CBP and the boating community.  Travelers input their biographic, conveyance, and trip details and submit their trip for CBP Officer review. Once done, travelers receive push notifications and emails with their admissibility decision and next steps if applicable.

Travelers should download the CBP ROAM app on their web-enabled smart device and establish a free account. After signing in, users can create and save traveler and conveyance profiles. These profiles can be reused for repeat entry into the United States. In certain locations, the CBP ROAM app can also be accessed on tablets at partner locations.

Enforcement News from Across CBP

Cocaine smuggled in dashboard

Not So Trusted Traveler Attempts to Smuggle Cocaine Through SENTRI Lane

El Paso, TX — CBP officers working at the Stanton Street dedicated commuter lane border crossing recently seized 19.7 pounds of cocaine from a traveler enrolled in SENTRI. CBP officers and CBP Canine Enforcement officers were conducting vehicle inspections when they encountered a vehicle driven by a 25-year-old female Mexican citizen arriving from Mexico. A CBP drug detecting canine conducted a search of the vehicle and alerted CBP officers to the presence of a trained odor for narcotics.  CBP officers then conducted a non-intrusive x-ray scan and physical inspection of the vehicle resulting in the discovery of multiple bundles hidden within the dashboard area.  The narcotics and vehicle were seized by CBP, and the driver was turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations to face charges in connection with the failed smuggling attempt. 

Seized currency

Dulles CBP Officers Seize $46K in Unreported Currency

Sterling, VA — CBP officers at Dulles airport recently seized more than $46,000 combined during two separate currency seizures from travelers departing the United States.  In the most recent case on May 1, 2022, CBP officers inspected a U.S. citizen destined to Ghana who initially reported, both verbally and in writing, that he possessed $14,000. However, officers discovered a total of $19,904 in his carry-on bag, and an additional $500 in his backpack for a total of $20,404. Officers seized the currency, returned $404 to the man as humanitarian relief, and released him to continue his travel.  Earlier, on April 26, a CBP currency detector dog alerted to a couple’s carry-on bags and the couple, who were destined to Egypt, reported that they possessed $15,000. During an examination, CBP officers discovered additional currency in the woman’s purse and even more concealed inside a suitcase liner for a total of $26,043. CBP officers seized the currency, then returned $1,043 as a humanitarian relief and released the couple to continue their travel. 

Seized prescription drugs

Philadelphia CBP Finds 900 ED Pills in Passenger Baggage

Philadelphia, PA — CBP officers at Philadelphia International Airport recently seized nearly 1,000 doses of sildenafil citrate from the baggage of a male U.S. citizen traveling home from the Dominican Republic on April 24, 2022.  Sildenafil citrate is the generic name for Viagra, a popular erectile dysfunction medicine, also known as the little blue pill.  CBP officers initially detected the pills while conducting a planeside inspection of baggage being offloaded from the flight. Officers notified other officers in CBP’s federal inspection station who waited for the traveler to retrieve his baggage and then conducted a thorough secondary baggage examination.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates pharmaceuticals, prohibits the import of generic versions of FDA-approved drugs from foreign countries.  

Office of Congressional Affairs | May 2022


CBP Access

CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to

September 2022  | Biometrics 
DHS – and by extension, CBP – is statutorily mandated to develop and implement an integrated, automated entry and exit data system to match records, including biographic data and biometrics, of noncitizens entering and departing the United States. This CBP Access update highlights CBP’s latest biometric technology enhancements and processes that increase border security, protect the privacy of travelers, and integrate with current travel infrastructure.

August 2022  | Trade Facilitation, Cargo Security 
July and August were hallmark months for CBP’s trade facilitation and enforcement mission starting with the agency’s first CBP Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit in Anaheim, California. With more than 3,000 attendees from across the trade community – 1,000 on-site and 2,000 virtually – it was the first time since the pandemic that CBP was able to hold a trade event of this magnitude.

July 2022  | Operational Update 
CBP is committed to being a leader in law enforcement accountability and transparency. As part of its ongoing efforts to improve data transparency and access, CBP’s July 2022 operational update coincided with the reorganization of the Stats and Summaries webpage and launch of the CBP Public Data Portal

June 2022  |  Ian Saunders, Intended U.S. Nominee for WCO Secretary General 
Following CBP's announcement of its intent to nominate Deputy Assistant Secretary Ian Saunders for World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary General, this CBP Access update provides a primer on the WCO and how CBP is leading enforcement and facilitation efforts in the global customs community.

May 2022  |  Summer Travel Season Tips
In preparation for the approaching summer travel season, this CBP Access update shares the latest international travel guidance as well as helpful tips to minimize delays and improve the cross-border travel experience. 

April 2022  | Commissioner Spotlight
From his first day as CBP’s Commissioner, Chris Magnus has been focused on building relationships and strengthening support for CBP’s mission, activities, and its dedicated workforce.  With a long, personal history of law enforcement, public service, and leadership, Commissioner Magnus deeply understands the value of people and partnerships.  

March 2022  |  Rescue Operations
The human smuggling business is all about profit. Human smugglers or “coyotes,” who promise people that they will safely guide them to a destination, often abandon their human cargo at some point, leaving them to fend for themselves and continue their illegal and dangerous journey with insufficient supplies and information. 

February 2022  |  Super Bowl LVI, Agriculture Inspections
CBP may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about high-profile events like the Super Bowl or traditional holidays like Valentine's Day, but this past month, CBP played a central — albeit behind-the-scenes — role in both events, working hard to protect the American public and keep American industry and business thriving. 

January 2022  |  Operational Update
CBP’s broad and complex mission is not only vital to the security and safety of our country, but also integral to the recovery and growth of our economy.  On January 3, 2022, CBP released agency statistics for Fiscal Year 2021 covering all major areas of operations, including international travel and trade, forced labor enforcement, drug seizures, and national border encounter statistics. 

December 2021  |  E-Commerce
Counterfeit goods pose real dangers to consumer health and safety and jeopardize the U.S. economy by eroding the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and workers. In Fiscal Year 2020, CBP personnel nationwide seized 26,503 shipments containing counterfeit goods estimated to be worth nearly $1.3 billion had they been genuine. 

November 2021  |  Land Port of Entry Operations
CBP operations at the nation’s land ports of entry are critical to ensure safe and efficient travel across our borders.  Before the COVID-19 global pandemic, CBP officers would process nearly a million travelers every day. As international travel begins to return to normal levels, CBP is prepared to welcome and facilitate travelers, while maintaining the highest standards of security. 

October 2021  |  Trade Update
CBP's trade mission is not only a critical component of national security, it is a significant driving force of the country’s economic prosperity. CBP processes more than $2.3 trillion of imports every year, generating billions of dollars of critical government revenue. CBP is committed to its complex dual role while enforcing nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 different partner government agencies. 


CBP Access | April 2022

CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to

From his first day as CBP’s Commissioner, Chris Magnus has been focused on building relationships and strengthening support for CBP’s mission, activities, and its dedicated workforce. With a long, personal history of law enforcement, public service, and leadership, Commissioner Magnus deeply understands the value of people and partnerships. Commissioner Magnus has spent much of his time over the last four months visiting with CBP’s frontline officers, agents, and other professionals from across the country to learn about their daily challenges and concerns, as well as their successes and ideas for improvement. This latest CBP Access update provides a look into Commissioner Magnus’s background, the vision he has for CBP, and his plans for building partnerships, relationships, transparency, and trust.

–Stephanie Talton, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Office of Congressional Affairs

Photograph of Commissioner Magnus

Commissioner Magnus Looks Ahead

In a recent Frontline feature article, CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus laid out his vision for CBP and his intent to build positive relationships that will help move the agency forward.

Commissioner Magnus, who most recently served as Tucson’s Chief of Police, was sworn in on December 13, 2021, becoming the fifth confirmed CBP Commissioner since the law enforcement agency was established in 2003.

After four decades in law enforcement, Commissioner Magnus now leads a law enforcement agency of nearly 65,000 men and women, with a mission to combat terrorism and transnational crime, secure the border, streamline lawful trade and protect revenue, and facilitate lawful travel. CBP is the United States’ first unified border law enforcement entity and takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control. CBP combines customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated activity.

Commissioner Magnus with field leadership

Commissioner Magnus believes that among all the challenges facing CBP today, the lack of public understanding of everything that CBP does is one of the most pressing. He wants to spend time to help the public, legislators, and the media understand CBP, the scope of what it does, the difficulties it faces, and the dedication of its workforce.

Addressing the welfare of the dedicated CBP workforce is one of the Commissioner’s top priorities. He wants to hear from employees about their struggles and help them be more resilient by investing more in mental health, providing more support to families of employees, and improving suicide prevention efforts.

Commissioner Magnus asserts that CBP is first and foremost a law enforcement agency – one that is committed to following the law and implementing policies. He also acknowledges that while CBP is often at the center of political controversy, he intends to try to step away from the politics and focus on CBP’s operational concerns.

The Commissioner’s operational focus will prioritize regular and intentional collaboration with CBP leadership, specialists and operators, and external partners like Congress, trade and travel industry, and other government partners.

CBP Commissioner Magnus has First Public Meeting with Trade Advisory Committee

A spirit of cooperation was the prevailing mood when members of the new 16th term Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee, known as COAC, recently gathered in Washington, D.C., for their first public meeting with CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus.

Commissioner Magnus attends COAC

COAC is a 20-member advisory committee that was established by Congress in 1987. The committee provides advice and recommendations to CBP and the Department of the Treasury on the commercial operations of CBP and trade-related interdepartmental functions. Some of the issues that COAC focuses on include enhanced border and supply chain security, international efforts to harmonize customs practices and procedures, import safety, compliance, and modernization and automation processes used to facilitate trade.

Commissioner Magnus, who co-chaired the meeting with Treasury Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Tim Skud, thanked the committee for its, “willingness to take on this incredibly important work with us to modernize trade and tackle the many big challenges in front of the trade community. Your collaboration with CBP and willingness to provide us with frank, thoughtful feedback is what makes this committee so valuable.”

Commissioner Magnus also expressed his commitment to the trade community and the American public. “My first 100 days have gone by in the blink of an eye but let me assure you that my CBP colleagues and I are laser-focused on the trade mission and its importance to both our economy and the nation,” he said.

Commissioner Magnus attends COAC

During the meeting, Commissioner Magnus shared some highlights of CBP’s recent trade mission enhancements, including further investment in additional non-intrusive inspection systems, implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and enhancement of the Advanced Trade Analytics Platform. He also noted that CBP is working on two final rules regarding customs brokers that reflect the challenges of the modern operating environment. Magnus also spoke about ACE 2.0, a new cargo processing system that will ultimately replace the Automated Commercial Environment, or ACE, as well as continuing development of CBP’s trusted trader program and the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.

Before concluding, Commissioner Magnus announced a new COAC initiative—a domestic manufacturing and production working group. “This group will work to further understand the areas of trade within CBP’s authority that impact our domestic industries,” he said.

Commissioner Magnus emphasized the importance of working with the trade community. “When we work together, we can improve the supply chain consumers rely on, protect citizens from counterfeit, dangerous and defective products, cut through unnecessary red tape and redundant processes and better address critical issues including forced labor and national security.”

Additional information is available in the full article on the March COAC meeting. The next COAC meeting is scheduled for this June.

Official CBP Seal

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Enters into Force on June 21

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) was signed into law by President Biden on December 23, 2021. It establishes a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, or produced by certain entities, is prohibited by Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and that such goods, wares, articles, and merchandise are not entitled to entry to the United States.

The presumption applies unless the CBP Commissioner determines that the importer of record has complied with specified conditions and, by clear and convincing evidence, that the goods, wares, articles, or merchandise were not produced using forced labor.

The UFLPA also requires the interagency Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force, chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security, and in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce and Director of National Intelligence, to develop and submit to Congress a strategy for supporting CBP’s enforcement of Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 with respect to goods, wares, articles, and merchandise produced with forced labor in the People’s Republic of China.

CBP recently established a webpage dedicated to the implementation of UFLPA. The webpage will continue to be frequently updated with new information and guidance.

CBP Enforcement of Executive Orders that Prohibit Certain Russian Federation Imports and Exports

President Biden recently signed two Executive Orders (EO) prohibiting certain Russian Federation imports as part of the Administration’s commitment to holding Russia accountable for its continued aggression in Ukraine. EO 14066 includes a prohibition on the importation of crude oil, petroleum energy products, liquified natural gas, and coal products from the Russian Federation, and EO 14068 prohibits the importation of fish, seafood, alcoholic beverages, and non-industrial diamonds that are products of Russia.

CBP plays a critical role in implementing and enforcing prohibitions on imports into the United States, as well as on exports of luxury goods. CBP coordinated with the White House, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and other interagency partners to effectively enforce these EOs. CBP swiftly took steps to ensure that these import and export control measures were implemented and obeyed, including making critical updates to trade processing systems and generating guidance to field offices.

Please visit for additional information on CBP’s enforcement of EO 14066 and EO 14068. CBP is one of many U.S. Government agencies supporting enforcement of OFAC and European Union sanctions, which includes the seizure of yachts and other assets, and providing support to our partners throughout the U.S. Government and our allies overseas. CBP is working with European law enforcement agencies to share information regarding enforcement actions.

Enforcement News from Across CBP

CBP Officers Seize Shipment Containing 15 Pounds of Ketamine

Seized ketamine

Louisville, KY — On April 27, 2022, CBP officers in Louisville, KY, intercepted a shipment containing 15 pounds of illegal ketamine. The shipment, originating from a residence in Germany was manifested as professional makeup. The parcel was heading to a residence in Queenstown, New Zealand. Officers opened the shipment and found six plastic bottles labeled as “Kryolan (Liquid Latex Clear)” containing a white substance. Officers tested the substance, which was positive for Ketamine. The estimated street value of the ketamine was $100,000. Like many anesthetics, ketamine has legitimate medical uses, but can be abused for its hallucinogenic and sedating effects. Ketamine distorts perceptions, causes temporary paralysis, and dangerously slows breathing, potentially shutting down body systems and leading to cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. Along with other club drugs, ketamine abuse typically occurs at raves and dance clubs, and is commonly used to facilitate sexual assault crimes. It is a Schedule III non-narcotic drug regulated under the Controlled Substances Act.

CBP Officers Seize more than $1 Million in Cocaine and Methamphetamine at the Hidalgo International Bridge

Seized cocaine

Hidalgo, TX — CBP officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge recently intercepted $1,088,000 worth of alleged cocaine and methamphetamine in two separate incidents. On April 22, 2022, CBP officers encountered a gold Ford pick-up making entry from Mexico. The vehicle was selected for inspection utilizing non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment. After physically inspecting the vehicle, officers discovered five packages concealed within the vehicle. One packaged contained 2.38 pounds of alleged cocaine. The other three packages contained 8.68 pounds of alleged methamphetamine. On April 24, 2022, CBP officers encountered a white Mazda SUV making entry from Mexico. The vehicle was selected for NII inspection and screening by a canine team. After physically inspecting the vehicle, officers extracted 88 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 67.72 pounds (30.72 kg) concealed within the vehicle. CBP seized the narcotics and vehicles, and the cases remain under investigation by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI).

Border Patrol Agents Arrest Convicted Murderer

USBP Patch

Brackettville, TX — U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to Del Rio Sector arrested a convicted a murderer shortly after he illegally entered the United States. At approximately 10:30 a.m., on April 14, 2022, Brackettville Station agents apprehended a group of five migrants near Brackettville. During processing, record checks revealed that one subject, a Honduran national was convicted of second-degree murder in North Carolina. Victor Alfonso Cruz-Garcia, 35, was arrested by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and charged with second-degree murder. Cruz-Garcia was found guilty on February 13, 2012, and was sentenced to 14 years and three months confinement. As a convicted felon with prior removals, the subject faces a charge of 8 USC § 1326 – Re-entry After Deportation, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Office of Congressional Affairs | April 2022


CBP Access | March 2022

“When someone is in distress, their safety and well-being come before their citizenship, nationality, or immigration status. The same resources used for border security are immediately directed to those in need.”

– Robert Sellers, Supervisory Marine Interdiction Agent, Air and Marine Operations

CBP Access is an electronic newspage developed by the Office of Congressional Affairs for Members of Congress and staff. If you are interested in subscribing to the CBP Access email distribution list, please send an email to

The human smuggling business is all about profit. Human smugglers or “coyotes,” who promise people that they will safely guide them to a destination, often abandon their human cargo at some point, leaving them to fend for themselves and continue their illegal and dangerous journey with insufficient supplies and information. The terrain and weather conditions along our Nation's expansive Southwest and Northern Borders, as well as our sea approaches, make already risky crossings even more treacherous. 

Along the Southwest Border, individuals attempt to cross vast stretches of desert, unforgiving mountain terrain, or the swift and unpredictable Rio Grande. Along the Northern Border, winter can bring sub-zero temperatures and blizzard conditions to the remote plains, lakes, and woods.  Both border regions experience dramatic and unpredictable temperature changes year-round, meaning individuals lost or left behind in desolate areas are at risk of dehydration, heat stroke or hypothermia, or death. Smugglers will guide or direct vulnerable individuals and families along dangerous routes to avoid CBP detection, but instead risk their lives.

CBP is the Nation’s border security agency, charged with enforcing our laws and stopping dangerous people and substances from entering the United States; however, the equipment, technology, and dedicated personnel that that secure our borders also serve to rescue people from dangerous situations and save lives.

Responsible for securing the land and sea borders between official ports of entry, CBP’s U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) and Air and Marine Operations (AMO) saved more than 13,000 people conducting rescue operations in fiscal year 2021. Regardless of the terrain, weather conditions, or remote location, USBP and AMO agents are committed to these humanitarian efforts and are prepared and equipped to rescue those in distress. 

This month’s CBP Access shares some of CBP’s recent search and rescue efforts and the USBP and AMO agents who put their own safety at risk to save lives. I also invite you to read CBP’s Frontline magazine feature articles, Answering the Call and Saving Lost Migrants, for more information.

–Stephanie Talton, Deputy Assistant Commissioner

Arizona  |  CBP Rescues Individuals from the Baboquivari Mountains, Sabino Canyon, and Sand Dunes near Yuma

AMO hoist injured migrant into helicopter
An injured migrant is airlifted by AMO and USBP teams. 
CBP File Photo
Injured man airlifted by AMO crew
An AMO crew extracts an
injured man from Sabino

On March 11, the USBP Arizona Air Coordination Center (A2C2) received a call from the Tohono O’odham Police Department requesting assistance with two migrants in the Baboquivari Mountains.  The two men had been in the desert for several days were out of water, exhausted, and could not walk any further.  A2C2 was able to use the smartphone application WhatsApp to identify their coordinates 20 miles north of the border, north of Baboquivari Peak. Around 9:10 p.m. that evening, an AMO UH-60 Black Hawk aircrew located the migrants at over 6,800 feet in altitude, deep in the Baboquivari wilderness.  The crew could not find a suitable landing area near the migrants due to the steep, rugged terrain. After establishing a hover 100 feet above the ground, the crew inserted two AMO Rescue Specialists via hoist, who assessed the migrants, secured them in air rescue vests, and hoisted them back up the helicopter.

The week before, Pima County search and rescue contacted the A2C2 requesting assistance for a heat stroke victim in Sabino Canyon approximately 2.5 miles along the Seven Falls trail northeast of Tucson. The A2C2 relayed the request to the AMO Tucson Air Branch which launched a UH-60 crew immediately, and, upon arrival, extracted the individual and an AMO Rescue Specialist via hoist. An AMO Emergency Medical Technician on board assessed the 25-year-old male U.S. citizen who was suffering from heat related injuries. The man was transported to a Pima County Sheriff’s Office rescue team nearby.

UH-60 Black Hawk used to extract injured man from Sabino Canyon
An AMO UH-60 Black Hawk was used to extract in injured
man from Sabino Canyon.

On March 6, the El Centro Sector Calexico Border Patrol station notified agents working in the field of two individuals lost in the sand dunes due to high winds and limited visibility and needed assistance. The agents located the individuals about 30 minutes later, approximately a quarter mile north of the US-Mexico border. After a wellness check, the individuals were taken into custody and transported to the El Centro Sector Processing Center for additional medical evaluation and processing.  Since October, El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents have successfully rescued 148 individuals who were lost, in distress, or abandoned by smugglers.

California  |  Lost Migrant Rescued in Jacumba Wilderness

Sunday evening, February 27, Border Patrol agents from the El Centro Sector rescued a migrant in the Jacumba Wilderness region near Ocotillo, California.  Shortly before 6:00 p.m., El Centro Sector’s Foreign Operations Branch notified the El Centro Station of a lost individual in need of assistance. Agents were notified of the distress call and responded to the last known GPS coordinates provided. Agents located the individual about 30 minutes later, approximately a mile and a half north of the US-Mexico border. After a wellness check, it was determined no immediate medical assistance was needed. The individual was taken into custody and transported to the El Centro Sector Processing Center for additional medical evaluation and to be processed accordingly.  

Florida  |  CBP Rescues 158 Haitian Migrants Attempting to Swim After Vessel Runs Aground 

Migrants on a vessel that grounded offshore of Key Largo
Vessel grounded containing 356 Haitian migrants

On March 6, CBP and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners responded to a maritime smuggling event near Key Largo, Florida. After running aground several hundred yards offshore, numerous migrants jumped off the vessel and attempted to swim toward the shore despite rough sea conditions. CBP and partner law enforcement agencies reacted quickly and rescued numerous migrants from the water. A total of 158 migrants were rescued, evaluated by Emergency Medical Services, and then taken into USBP custody. An additional 198 migrants remained onboard and were safely removed from the vessel and taken into custody by the U.S. Coast Guard. An investigation regarding the incident is ongoing.   

CBP's AMO recently responded to another rescue incident in the Florida Keys on March 16, approximately three nautical miles south of Marathon, after overhearing a mayday call on their radios. The AMO vessel crews had been conducting training, but immediately responded to the distress call and found that the boat was quickly taking on large amounts of water. AMO agents safely disembarked all four passengers.

Minnesota  |  Border Patrol Agents Rescue Five in Blizzard, Two Children and Two Adults Tragically Perish

Border Patrol agents on snowmobiles along the Northern Border
Border Patrol Agents use snowmobiles along the Northern
Border, where winter can bring sub-zero temperatures
and blizzard conditions.  CBP File Photo.

On January 19, Border Patrol agents assigned to the Grand Forks Sector stopped a smuggling attempt near Humboldt, Minnesota, rescuing five individuals from treacherous, sub-zero conditions. A Border Patrol agent stopped a vehicle driven by a U.S. citizen on Minnesota Highway 75 near Humboldt at approximately 9:15 a.m. The two passengers in the vehicle were citizens of India who recently crossed the border illegally from Canada. Assisting agents then encountered five additional people walking on a nearby road experiencing severe signs of hypothermia and frostbite due to exposure to the extreme cold and wind chill. Agents immediately rendered aid and called for Emergency Medical Services. Aside from one woman needing advance care, all migrants encountered by agents during this incident were taken into custody and transported to the Pembina Station for further processing. At the station, agents discovered toddler clothing in a bag recovered from the site of apprehension, immediately initiated a search and rescue operation to look for additional migrants and notified the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).  RCMP discovered four individuals on the Canadian side of the border who perished in the extreme weather conditions. The decedents included two children and two adults.

Puerto Rico  |  AMO, Border Patrol Rescue Migrants Stranded on Desolate Island

Migrants are loaded into an AMO aircraft after being rescued when their vessel grounded offshore
Migrants are boarded on an CAMB Blackhawk
helicopter in Desecheo .

On March 6, a concerned citizen contacted the USBP Ramey Sector indicating that a group of migrants was abandoned on Desecheo island, a desolate island 13 mi (21 km) from Rincón on the west coast of Puerto Rico. With rough seas impeding a safe removal by boat, an AMO Black hawk was diverted from another mission to remove the migrants from the island. Ramey Sector Border Patrol Agents departed with the AMO crew and reached the migrants on the side of the island where they were abandoned. The agents guided the migrants through the rough terrain and elevation to another side of the island where the Black hawk was able to land and transport the migrants to the Ramey station.  

Texas  |  Families Alive After Harrowing Rescues by Border Patrol Agents

Family rescued from the Rio Grande by Del Rio Border Patrol agents
Del Rio Border Patrol agents rescued a family of four,
stranded in the Rio Grande.

On February 12, Del Rio Sector Eagle Pass Border Patrol Station agents were conducting line watch duties near International Bridge No. 2 when they observed a family unit crossing the Rio Grande. As the individuals neared the U.S. riverbank, the ground they were standing on collapsed and they plunged into deep water. The family began to struggle to stay afloat as the swift current carried them down river. One agent quickly jumped into the river and another agent hurled a rescue bag that unfortunately didn’t reach the group. The agent in the river managed to pull the mother and child to safety then dared the waters once more to rescue the adult male. The man had been underwater for an extended period before the agent was able to reach him. Upon being pulled to safety, agents rendered aid and contacted Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The family was evaluated by EMS, who recommended they be transported to a local hospital for further treatment. The 33-year-old man, 34-year-old woman, and 5-year-old girl, all from Haiti, received medical care and were released from the hospital and processed in accordance with CBP policies and guidelines.

A 5-yr-old girl is reunited with her mother after human smugglers left the girl on an island in the Rio Grande
A young girl abandoned by smugglers on an island is
reunited with her mother.

A few weeks later, on March 7, USBP Del Rio Station Marine Unit agents observed four migrants struggling to cross the Rio Grande. Water levels were high, and the river was producing cold, strong currents endangering the lives of the migrants. Agents immediately deployed two rescue throw bags from land but were unsuccessful in reaching the family. The agents then quickly deployed an airboat and successfully rescued the father and mother and their two small children, ages two and three. The subjects did not require medical attention and transported to the Del Rio Station. Between March 4 and 7, Del Rio Sector Border Patrol agents performed 45 water rescues.

Although many families attempt to cross the border together, smugglers are ruthless and will not hesitate to separate migrants for convenience or to gain compliance. On November 13, 2021, Border Patrol agents assigned to Eagle Pass Station encountered a group of migrants who had recently crossed the border. An adult female in the group reported to agents that her 5-year-old daughter was left behind on an island in the Rio Grande between the U.S. and Mexico. Agents notified the Eagle Pass Station Riverine Unit who immediately responded to the area and located a total of 10 undocumented migrants on the island, including the juvenile daughter.  The family members, both Venezuelan nationals, were immediately reunited on scene.

CBP Missing Migrant Program Uses Public Radio to Identify a Deceased Man Found in Falfurrias

On October 4, 2022, Falfurrias Border Patrol Station agents received a call from a ranch employee about the discovery of a decedent who was found with a cell phone, but no identification, and was severely decomposed. Agents and Brooks County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies responded, and the decedent was ultimately transported to the Brooks County morgue. A few days later, BCSO requested the assistance of the Missing Migrant Program (MMP) to identify the decedent. Fingerprints obtained through macro-photography did not yield a database match, but MMP agents were able to contact an individual in Guatemala listed in the cell phone as “hermano” (brother). That person did not know of anyone who was travelling to the United States but wanted to assist and advised that he would solicit help from the community through a radio station in Guatemala.

That same day, agents received a call from a man in New York who stated he had a friend from Guatemala that was heading to the United States, but last heard from him on September 25, 2021. He advised he heard the information while listening to a Guatemalan radio station on the internet. He believed his friend was left abandoned in the brush near Falfurrias, Texas. MMP agents found a person matching his friend’s name on a list of missing citizens from Guatemala. They requested his fingerprints from the Guatemalan Consulate and through the USBP Joint Forensic Center were able to confirm a positive match for the decedent. This is only one of the many successes of MMP’s “reunification” mission.  Although the program strives to save lives through the deployment of rescue beacons and location placards throughout the southwest border, the successful identification of decedents provides closure to mourning families.

Enforcement News from Across CBP

CBP Officers Discover 18 Pounds of Cocaine in Airplane Cargo Hold

photo of seized drugs

Philadelphia, PA — On March 15, CBP officers at Philadelphia International Airport found 18 pounds of cocaine while performing a routine inspection of a cargo hold. CBP officers met the American Airlines flight from Montego Bay, Jamaica, as it gated, observed the aircraft baggage offload, and then climbed into the cargo hold to conduct a routine examination. That’s when CBP narcotics detector dog Dasha immediately alerted to an access panel. CBP officers discovered three bags that shouldn’t be there. Two gray Puma brand drawstring bags collectively contained eight wrapped bricks of a white powdery substance. CBP officers used a narcotics test kit and a handheld elemental isotope analysis tool and identified the substance as cocaine hydrochloride. The third bag, a plain blue duffle bag, was empty. CBP officers seized the cocaine, which weighed a combined 8.246 kilograms, or about 18 pounds, three ounces. The cocaine has an approximate street value of about $580,000. No arrests have been made. An investigation continues.

 CBP Officers Seize $587K Worth of Narcotics in Three Seizures

photo of seized cocaine

Brownsville, TX — CBP officers at the Brownsville Port of Entry intercepted alleged narcotics in three separate enforcement actions with a combined estimated street value of $587,140. The first seizure took place on March 17, at the Veterans International Bridge when a 25-year-old male U.S. citizen was referred to CBP secondary for further examination of his vehicle. Using a non-intrusive imaging system (NII), CBP officers discovered 10 packages hidden within the vehicle, which contained a total of 26.32 pounds of alleged cocaine. The second seizure took place on March 19, at the Gateway International Bridge when a 22-year-old female U.S. citizen was referred to CBP secondary for further examination. With the aid of a canine unit, CBP officers discovered 10 packages hidden in the vehicle, which contained a total of 26.94 pounds of alleged cocaine. The third seizure took place on March 22, at the Gateway International Bridge when a 23-year-old female U.S. citizen. After being referred to secondary inspection, a canine alerted CBP officers to 10 hidden packages, which contained a total of 22.61 pounds of alleged cocaine.

Office of Congressional Affairs | March 2022