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Overview:

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBP employees manage, control and protect the nation’s border. CBP’s two main stated goals are anti-terrorism and facilitating legitimate trade and travel. CBP works to protect the U.S from acts of terrorism and reduce the vulnerability to the threat of terrorists through a multi-level inspection process. CBP is also responsible for preventing the transportation of drugs, illegal immigrants, traffickers, prohibited agricultural products and counterfeit goods, money, and intellectual goods across the border. CBP is made up of personnel who were formerly with the U.S customs, U.S Immigration, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the entire U.S Border Patrol. 

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History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Department of Homeland Security was established on March 1, 2003, including the creation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP brought together several different organizations with the responsibility of protecting our nation at its borders, including the ports of entry (POEs) and the border areas between the ports. For the first time in U.S. history, a single agency is now responsible for securing our borders. The CBP was the largest reorganization of our Federal Government in over 50 years.

 
Congress began passing laws limiting immigration in 1882 with the goal of protecting the U.S. labor market from the Chinese and other nationalities that offered cheap labor within the U.S. These restrictions raised the number of migrants attempting to enter the U.S illegally. As a result, the U.S Immigration Service assigned a group of inspectors to patrol and prevent illegal crossings. The Immigration Act of 1917 established a head tax of eight dollars on each immigrant and required them to pass a literacy test. Before this act, Canadians and Mexicans were able to cross the border without any restrictions. New quotas placed on immigration to the U.S by the Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924, along with the act of 1917, fueled illegal entry into the U.S. On May 28, 1924, Congress established the U.S Border Patrol as part of the Immigration Bureau, an arm of the Department of Labor. The Border Patrol at this time consisted of 450 officers whose duties were to stop smugglers, and people harboring or assisting a migrant not admitted by an immigration inspector. In 1932, the Border Patrol was put under the control of two directors, one in charge of the Mexican border office in El Paso, Texas and the other in charge of the Canadian border office in Detroit, Michigan. During WWII the Border Patrol added 712 agents and 57 backup personnel, making a total of 1,531 officers. 
 
During the late 1950s and 1960s it became more common for illegal migrants to enter the U.S by private aircraft, as the threat of aircraft hijacking was the newest threat to U.S security. The Border Patrol also put more focus on intercepting drugs coming from Mexico. As a result of this increase in responsibilities, the Border Patrol increased their amount of officers and brought in the use of modern technologies, including infrared night-vision scopes, seismic sensors, and a modern computer processing system.
 
 
In 1971, the USDA established the Animal and Plant Health Service and in 1972, “Inspection” was added to the name when the inspection of meat and poultry was transferred to the Animal and Plant Health Service, making it APHIS.   In 1991, Americans also began deploying overseas to work with foreign counterparts to ensure that they are adhering to the same international plant health standards. In 2003, with the creation of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, approximately 2, 700 employees transferred form the USDA to CBP, most of them inspectors and technicians.
 
After the U.S declared it independence in 1776, the First Congress passed, and President George Washington signed, the Tariff Act of 1789, authorizing the collection of duties; excise taxes, fees and penalties on imported merchandise, due to the desperate need for revenues. For 125 years Customs has provided a great amount of funding for the entire government. Today customs is still expanding and is a large source of revenue for the U.S federal government.
 
In 1875 the Supreme Court ruled that immigration was a federal responsibility. The Immigration Act of 1891 established an Office of the Superintendent of Immigration within the Treasury Department. This office was responsible for admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the United States and for implementing national immigration policy. Immigration became a federal concern to protect American workers and wages. In 1903, the Bureau of Immigration was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor because immigration had more to do with commerce then revenue. In 1913, the Department of Labor and Commerce reorganized into today’s separate cabinet departments. Laws passed in 1921 and 1924 limited the numbers of newcomers by assigning a quota to each nationality based upon its representation in previous U.S. census figures. Each year, the State Department issued a limited number of visas; only those immigrants who had obtained them and could present valid visas were permitted entry. Congress created a Border Patrol in 1924 within the Immigration Service with the goal of decreasing the number of migrants crossing the U.S border illegally. 
 
In 1965, Congress changed the immigration law to include a preference system designed to attract skilled workers. This change in policy meant that the majority of applications for immigration visas now came from Asia and Central and South America rather than Europe.
 
The immigration reform and Control Act of 1986 expanded the agency’s responsibilities and made it a law-enforcement agency. The act enabled the agency to enforce sanctions against American employers who hired undocumented aliens.

 

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What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBP assesses all passengers flying, driving, walking or arriving by ships into the U.S from abroad in its search for terrorist risks, drugs, illegal immigration, traffickers, prohibited agricultural products and counterfeit goods. CBP has several initiatives in place that help to identify both people and cargo that may pose a threat to the safety of the U.S.

 
CBP has four major programs:
Under the Container Security Initiative (CSI), CBP works together with other nations to identify and pre-screen containers that pose a risk at foreign ports of departure before they are loaded and shipped to the U.S. CSI currently operates in 58 ports, as of October 2007, In Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North, Central and South America.
 
C-TPAT works with more than 7,600 companies, including United States importers, customs brokers, terminal operators, carriers and foreign manufactures. CBP refers to C-TPAT as the most successful government-private partnerships to emerge after 9/11 and claims global supply chains are more secure today as a result of C-TPAT.
 
This initiative works to protect America’s Ports of Entry (POE) by deterring potential threats, and unauthorized people and goods. It also collects any taxes, duties and fees. Every year CBP processes nearly half a billion people, 130 million trucks and cars, and 20 million cargo containers at ports of entry. 
 
National Border Patrol Strategy
This strategy’s main goal is to have operational control of the borders of the United States, especially the land borders with Canada and Mexico. The Border Patrol has partnered with other law enforcement agencies, such as the U.S Coast Guard, the National Service, ICE, the FBI and the DEA.  

 

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Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corruption and Bribery

CBP’s Border Patrol is in charge of stopping crimes such as bribery, drug trafficking and migrant smuggling. Yet, according to an article posted in the Miami Herald on March 4, 2008, there have been several charges against CBP officers for committing those crimes themselves and enabling drug transactions to continue. In February 2008, for example, a Customs and Border Protection Officer at Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport was charged with conspiring to assist a New York “drug ring” that was under investigation by tapping into federal databases. 
 
In another case, a six-year veteran of the CBP, Elizabeth Moran-Toala, was allegedly was tapping into CBP’s electronic database that is used to stop illegal drug imports (Treasury Enforcement Communications System). Moran-Toala tapped into the database several times to give information to a Delta Airlines baggage handler who was helping a “drug ring” import cocaine and heroin on flights from the Dominican Republic to New York. Moran-Toala’s case was sent to New York for prosecution in February 2008.
 
There have been several cases in South Florida of CBP officers and agents accepting illegal payoffs for migrant smuggling, drug trafficking, witness tampering and embezzlement.
Crimes by Homeland Security agents stir alert (Jay Weaver and Alfonso Chardy, Miami Herald)
 
Gaps within security
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), at least 21,000 people who shouldn’t have been admitted into the U.S in 2006 were mistakenly allowed through official ports of entry. Richard Stana, the author of the GAO report, said that most of the people wrongly let in were economic migrants and did not pose a threat to national security. However, terrorists are not the only dangers and threats crossing our borders. Economic migrants and others who are wrongly admitted can be affiliated with drug smuggling and other criminal activities that impact U.S citizens and their security. The GAO also reported a management weakness within CBP. Investigators arrived at one point of entry with no border agents in the inspections booth and at another location agents did not even ask to look at their travel documents.
 
In May 2005, Congressional investigators reported several problems within both the C-TPAT and CSI programs among America’s Ports of Entry (POE). The General Accountability Office stated that 1/3 of U.S.-bound shipments were not reviewed for inspection, displaying a large gap in security among global chains. Another gap was found among ports in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa, where little if any screening takes place. These ports account for 20% of containers going into the U.S. Kim Peterson, President of SeaSecure LLC, the nation’s largest maritime security consulting company, believes that, “Al-Qaida can go to the Customs Web Site, identify which ports are in CSI partnership and pick a port in the developing world to ship a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) to Miami, New York or Los Angeles.” Even among the ports that are in partnership with CSI, terrorists have the ability to pick a well-known company find one of their poorly paid truck drivers, give a good bribe and smuggle what they wish. This is possible because CSI’s “trusted shippers,” the majority of which are the well-know companies, receive little or no inspection.     
 
Violation of Privacy
Several congressional leaders, travel executives and European leaders argue that CBP’s program, Automated Targeting System (ATS) invades people’s privacy and violates the privacy agreement between the U.S and the European Union. Through ATS, CBP has been assigning travelers on internal flights, both American and foreign, different scores designed to identify high-risk travelers. Opponents of this program are requesting that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suspend the program until privacy concerns can be addressed. Several authorities have objected to the fact that individuals have no way of knowing if they have been flagged as a risk to U.S security. CBP also shares information with other government agencies, other governments and with private contractors. Almost all public mention of ATS, refers to its scrutiny of cargo shipments, with little or no mention of its tracking of people.

 

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Comments

faith davidson 1 year ago
I have question really..my boyfriend who lives in the u.k. sent me a package a couple of weeks ago..it contained two birthday cards and items of clothing..he got a letter from his postal service that stated it had left the u.k. and is here in the u.s. the problem is I have not yet recieved the package..how can I go about finding out where it might be?
andy lawton 1 year ago
Please mr. aguilar could you tell me why we dont have american outposts on all of u.s. mountains overlooking smuggling routes? could it be because you want them in? you drop men off in helicopters to search,then u take them off the mountain, knowing more will come. do you think were stupid? why not have an outpost where they cant get back up atop! you fucking people think were blind! as soon as i can ill pass this to the associated press,everybody should know how little you and your services are doing, outposts on mountains how fucking stupid is our border patrol!!!!!!!!
Honesty 1 year ago
There are fake Border/customs agents(or real agents) along with American Family sweepstakes trying to scam about a form 4790 and fees of 1% of winnings. Dont fall for it its very very detailed and almost convincing. I have names and numbers if needed.
veronica 2 years ago
deceo que porfavor me envien mis cosas que me quitaron en migracion el dia 9 de septiembre ya que las necesito porf.
ellen lanko 2 years ago
a coworker of mine wants to travel and cross the border at niagra falls. he has a green card and a nys drivers license. will he need any other documentation to enter canada and return to nys. he does have a chinese passport, not a us passport.
Stan Gill 2 years ago
received correspondence about fee's due to receive document that i believe is part of a scam for further funds that i have already contributed to this mess..fee's are totaled at 2650.00 and are made by a arroyo&coto sa international law firm, claiming to be out of jose costa rica, representing "las vegas direct sweepstakes"..
Marilyn Green 2 years ago
i recieve a lot of scam emails from all over the world and i received one today that states it is from the department of ghana. customs and border protection accra ghana, d.c. they state: pursuant to the department of the us customs and border protection's interim final rule on tarp, the office of the special master has completed its review. the person i am suppose to contact and send my information too is the following. i am mr. evans klutsey, am the assistant commissioner afla...
Joe Di Marco 2 years ago
my daughter is travelling to florida from canada and will be using my van for the trip. as the van is registered in my name i would like to know if she requires permission slip from me in order to have a smooth border crossing into the u.s. if certain requirements are mandatory, please advise me of the procedures as i would like to ensure her and her husband and children of a hassle free crossing. i do not know who else to contact, so i'm, hoping your department can advise me or gi...
Earl levasseur 3 years ago
how do i get an email address or phone # for u.s. customs and border protection admissibility review office 12825 worldgate drive herndon, va. 20598-1340
victor quiles 3 years ago
when is the next recruiting fair in milwaukee,indiana or chicago?

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Founded: March 1, 2003
Annual Budget: $8.46 billion (2008)
Employees: 46,000+
Official Website: http://www.cbp.gov/
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Kerlikowske, Gil
Commissioner

President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the new commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Robert Gil Kerlikowske, has been the nation’s “drug czar” since 2009. Kerlikowske has spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement, including a stint as a narcotics officer and eight years as Seattle’s police chief, during which he downplayed the importance of arresting individuals for marijuana possession—a position that, in the wake of the state-level legalization of marijuana possession by voters in Colorado and Washington, has become close to the official position of the Justice Department.

 

Born in Fort Myers, Florida, in 1949, Kerlikowske was raised by his mother and stepfather, who was a judge. As a high school student, Kerlikowske worked as a crime scene photographer on weekends, and he discovered his love for law enforcement while fingerprinting criminals at a Florida jail. Kerlikowske enrolled in St. Petersburg Junior College, but was drafted into the army in 1970, and joined the Army Military Police. He was stationed in Washington, DC, where his duties included saluting then-President Richard Nixon as he boarded the Marine One helicopter.

 

Kerlikowske married in 1972, and he and his first wife, Carol, had two children. After leaving the military, Kerlikowske began his law enforcement career in 1972 as a street cop for the St. Petersburg Police in Florida. His assignments included work as an undercover narcotics detective, an internal affairs investigator and a police hostage negotiator. By 1985 he had been promoted to head of the department’s criminal investigation division.

 

In his off hours, Kerlikowske attended college at the University of South Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree (1978) and a master’s degree (1985) in criminal justice. He later graduated from the National Executive Institute at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in 1984.

 

He was hired to be the police chief for the town of Port St. Lucie in Florida in March 1987. He later held the same post for Fort Pierce beginning in January 1990, before moving in 1994 to Buffalo, New York, to become police commissioner.

 

Kerlikowske was the first department outsider to lead the Buffalo police department. He was credited for lowering the crime rate, improving police relations with the community and introducing basic technological advancements in the Buffalo police department, along with instituting random drug testing of officers.

 

He married his second wife, criminal justice researcher Anna Laszlo, in 1995.

 

In 1998, Kerlikowske relocated to Washington, DC, to join the US Department of Justice during the Clinton administration. There, he served as a deputy director for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, where he oversaw community policing grants. During his time at the Justice Department, Kerlikowske established a strong relationship with Eric Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton years, and is now U.S. Attorney General.

 

Kerlikowske was selected to become Seattle’s police chief in 2001. During his tenure in Seattle, Kerlikowske won credit for stabilizing the department after the stormy departure of Norm Stamper as chief in the wake of the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle. Crimes rates dipped during his time as chief, reaching historic lows in recent years.

 

But his time as police chief was not without some controversy and drama. Kerlikowske faced criticism over the department’s slow response to the 2001 Seattle Mardi Gras Riots that left one man dead and 70 people with injuries. During the incident, he ordered the police at the scene not to intervene, instead maintaining a perimeter around the violence. The city of Seattle acknowledged that police strategy presented a public safety threat, and settled with the murder victim’s family for just under $2,000,000. The next month, The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild voted no confidence in the chief, citing both the Mardi Gras riot and his public reprimand of an officer for being rude to a group of young jaywalkers.

 

In 2003, Kerlikowske was asked about his views on a local ballot initiative to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority. In response, he stated that “arresting people for possessing marijuana for personal use... is not a priority now.”

 

In 2004, Kerlikowske admitted publicly that he had been recruited to leave Seattle to run police departments in San Francisco and Boston. In September 2004, he allowed himself to be jolted with 50,000 volts of electricity to demonstrate the non-lethal efficiency of Taser guns. And in December, he left a 9-mm Glock semiautomatic handgun underneath the seat of his car while shopping with his wife. The gun was stolen out of his car, and a spokesman for Kerlikowske said the chief was “chagrined.”

 

In July 2007, a citizen oversight panel accused Kerlikowske of repeatedly interfering in an internal investigation into the actions of a pair of officers accused of beating a suspect.

 

As President Obama’s drug czar, Kerlikowske supported the continued federal crackdown on marijuana. On the other hand, after three years on the job, he admitted to Congress that he had failed to notice the “national crisis” of prescription drug abuse even though more Americans were dying from overdoses of prescription pain killers than from heroin and cocaine combined.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

Outgoing Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske's Greatest Hits (by Jacob Sullum, Reason)

Drug Czar Kerlikowske Suddenly Discovers Prescription Drug Death Crisis (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Gil Kerlikowske will Exit Drug Czar Post (by Joel Connelly, Seattle Pi)

Officers Taking No-Confidence Vote on Chief; Mayor backs Kerlikowske (by Ian Ith, Seattle Times)

Gil Kerlikowske: Obama's Drug Czar (Huffington Post)

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Aguilar, David
Previous Commissioner

Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Who Is David Aguilar?

 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is the largest uniformed, federal law enforcement agency in the country, has a new leader. David V. Aguilar, who has worked on border enforcement for more than thirty-three years, has been named CBP Acting Commissioner in the wake of the refusal of Senate Republicans to hold a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Alan Bersin to the post. Effective January 1, 2012, Aguilar will be in charge of more than 20,000 uniformed agents.
 
Born in December 1955 near Rio Grande City, Texas, Aguilar earned an Associate Degree in Accounting at Laredo Community College, and attended Laredo State University and the University of Texas at Arlington. He is also a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Spring Class of 1999.
 
Aguilar joined the United States Border Patrol in June 1978 at Laredo, Texas, where he served as first line supervisor, Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge and Patrol Agent in Charge. From January 1988 to August 1996, Aguilar served as Patrol Agent in Charge of three Border Patrol Stations in Texas: Dallas (1988-1992), Rio Grande Valley (1992-1995) and Brownsville (July 1995-August 1996), which was the largest Border Patrol Station in the Central Region.
 
From August 1996 to November 1999, Aguilar served as Assistant Regional Director for the Border Patrol in the Central Region of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). From December 1999 to June 2004, he was the Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector, where he had more than 2,000 Border Patrol Agents and over 200 support personnel under his command, spread out over eight geographically dispersed Border Patrol Stations along 261 miles of the Arizona/Mexico border. The year 2004 was a banner one for Aguilar: in March he was designated as the Border and Transportation Security Integrator for Arizona Border Control Initiative, and on July 1, he took over as Chief of the United States Border Patrol, in charge of more than 12,000 Border Patrol Agents nationwide. He was also elected President of the Southern Arizona Federal Executive Association.
 
As Border Patrol Chief, Aguilar became the target of the anger of the National Border Patrol Council (the union representing border patrol officers), which passed a resolution of “no-confidence” in him because he supported the 2007 prosecution and jury trial conviction of two border patrol agents who in 2005 had shot an unarmed illegal alien and then covered up the shooting.
 
After six years as Chief of the Border Patrol, Aguilar was named Deputy Commissioner of (CBP) on April 11, 2010, serving as Chief Operating Officer and overseeing the daily operations of CBP’s 57,000-employee workforce and managing an operating budget of more than $11 billion.
 
Aguilar and his wife, Bea, were married circa 1975, and have three children and three grandchildren.
 
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Bookmark and Share
Overview:

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBP employees manage, control and protect the nation’s border. CBP’s two main stated goals are anti-terrorism and facilitating legitimate trade and travel. CBP works to protect the U.S from acts of terrorism and reduce the vulnerability to the threat of terrorists through a multi-level inspection process. CBP is also responsible for preventing the transportation of drugs, illegal immigrants, traffickers, prohibited agricultural products and counterfeit goods, money, and intellectual goods across the border. CBP is made up of personnel who were formerly with the U.S customs, U.S Immigration, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the entire U.S Border Patrol. 

more
History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Department of Homeland Security was established on March 1, 2003, including the creation of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). CBP brought together several different organizations with the responsibility of protecting our nation at its borders, including the ports of entry (POEs) and the border areas between the ports. For the first time in U.S. history, a single agency is now responsible for securing our borders. The CBP was the largest reorganization of our Federal Government in over 50 years.

 
Congress began passing laws limiting immigration in 1882 with the goal of protecting the U.S. labor market from the Chinese and other nationalities that offered cheap labor within the U.S. These restrictions raised the number of migrants attempting to enter the U.S illegally. As a result, the U.S Immigration Service assigned a group of inspectors to patrol and prevent illegal crossings. The Immigration Act of 1917 established a head tax of eight dollars on each immigrant and required them to pass a literacy test. Before this act, Canadians and Mexicans were able to cross the border without any restrictions. New quotas placed on immigration to the U.S by the Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924, along with the act of 1917, fueled illegal entry into the U.S. On May 28, 1924, Congress established the U.S Border Patrol as part of the Immigration Bureau, an arm of the Department of Labor. The Border Patrol at this time consisted of 450 officers whose duties were to stop smugglers, and people harboring or assisting a migrant not admitted by an immigration inspector. In 1932, the Border Patrol was put under the control of two directors, one in charge of the Mexican border office in El Paso, Texas and the other in charge of the Canadian border office in Detroit, Michigan. During WWII the Border Patrol added 712 agents and 57 backup personnel, making a total of 1,531 officers. 
 
During the late 1950s and 1960s it became more common for illegal migrants to enter the U.S by private aircraft, as the threat of aircraft hijacking was the newest threat to U.S security. The Border Patrol also put more focus on intercepting drugs coming from Mexico. As a result of this increase in responsibilities, the Border Patrol increased their amount of officers and brought in the use of modern technologies, including infrared night-vision scopes, seismic sensors, and a modern computer processing system.
 
 
In 1971, the USDA established the Animal and Plant Health Service and in 1972, “Inspection” was added to the name when the inspection of meat and poultry was transferred to the Animal and Plant Health Service, making it APHIS.   In 1991, Americans also began deploying overseas to work with foreign counterparts to ensure that they are adhering to the same international plant health standards. In 2003, with the creation of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, approximately 2, 700 employees transferred form the USDA to CBP, most of them inspectors and technicians.
 
After the U.S declared it independence in 1776, the First Congress passed, and President George Washington signed, the Tariff Act of 1789, authorizing the collection of duties; excise taxes, fees and penalties on imported merchandise, due to the desperate need for revenues. For 125 years Customs has provided a great amount of funding for the entire government. Today customs is still expanding and is a large source of revenue for the U.S federal government.
 
In 1875 the Supreme Court ruled that immigration was a federal responsibility. The Immigration Act of 1891 established an Office of the Superintendent of Immigration within the Treasury Department. This office was responsible for admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the United States and for implementing national immigration policy. Immigration became a federal concern to protect American workers and wages. In 1903, the Bureau of Immigration was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor because immigration had more to do with commerce then revenue. In 1913, the Department of Labor and Commerce reorganized into today’s separate cabinet departments. Laws passed in 1921 and 1924 limited the numbers of newcomers by assigning a quota to each nationality based upon its representation in previous U.S. census figures. Each year, the State Department issued a limited number of visas; only those immigrants who had obtained them and could present valid visas were permitted entry. Congress created a Border Patrol in 1924 within the Immigration Service with the goal of decreasing the number of migrants crossing the U.S border illegally. 
 
In 1965, Congress changed the immigration law to include a preference system designed to attract skilled workers. This change in policy meant that the majority of applications for immigration visas now came from Asia and Central and South America rather than Europe.
 
The immigration reform and Control Act of 1986 expanded the agency’s responsibilities and made it a law-enforcement agency. The act enabled the agency to enforce sanctions against American employers who hired undocumented aliens.

 

more
What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBP assesses all passengers flying, driving, walking or arriving by ships into the U.S from abroad in its search for terrorist risks, drugs, illegal immigration, traffickers, prohibited agricultural products and counterfeit goods. CBP has several initiatives in place that help to identify both people and cargo that may pose a threat to the safety of the U.S.

 
CBP has four major programs:
Under the Container Security Initiative (CSI), CBP works together with other nations to identify and pre-screen containers that pose a risk at foreign ports of departure before they are loaded and shipped to the U.S. CSI currently operates in 58 ports, as of October 2007, In Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North, Central and South America.
 
C-TPAT works with more than 7,600 companies, including United States importers, customs brokers, terminal operators, carriers and foreign manufactures. CBP refers to C-TPAT as the most successful government-private partnerships to emerge after 9/11 and claims global supply chains are more secure today as a result of C-TPAT.
 
This initiative works to protect America’s Ports of Entry (POE) by deterring potential threats, and unauthorized people and goods. It also collects any taxes, duties and fees. Every year CBP processes nearly half a billion people, 130 million trucks and cars, and 20 million cargo containers at ports of entry. 
 
National Border Patrol Strategy
This strategy’s main goal is to have operational control of the borders of the United States, especially the land borders with Canada and Mexico. The Border Patrol has partnered with other law enforcement agencies, such as the U.S Coast Guard, the National Service, ICE, the FBI and the DEA.  

 

more
Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corruption and Bribery

CBP’s Border Patrol is in charge of stopping crimes such as bribery, drug trafficking and migrant smuggling. Yet, according to an article posted in the Miami Herald on March 4, 2008, there have been several charges against CBP officers for committing those crimes themselves and enabling drug transactions to continue. In February 2008, for example, a Customs and Border Protection Officer at Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport was charged with conspiring to assist a New York “drug ring” that was under investigation by tapping into federal databases. 
 
In another case, a six-year veteran of the CBP, Elizabeth Moran-Toala, was allegedly was tapping into CBP’s electronic database that is used to stop illegal drug imports (Treasury Enforcement Communications System). Moran-Toala tapped into the database several times to give information to a Delta Airlines baggage handler who was helping a “drug ring” import cocaine and heroin on flights from the Dominican Republic to New York. Moran-Toala’s case was sent to New York for prosecution in February 2008.
 
There have been several cases in South Florida of CBP officers and agents accepting illegal payoffs for migrant smuggling, drug trafficking, witness tampering and embezzlement.
Crimes by Homeland Security agents stir alert (Jay Weaver and Alfonso Chardy, Miami Herald)
 
Gaps within security
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), at least 21,000 people who shouldn’t have been admitted into the U.S in 2006 were mistakenly allowed through official ports of entry. Richard Stana, the author of the GAO report, said that most of the people wrongly let in were economic migrants and did not pose a threat to national security. However, terrorists are not the only dangers and threats crossing our borders. Economic migrants and others who are wrongly admitted can be affiliated with drug smuggling and other criminal activities that impact U.S citizens and their security. The GAO also reported a management weakness within CBP. Investigators arrived at one point of entry with no border agents in the inspections booth and at another location agents did not even ask to look at their travel documents.
 
In May 2005, Congressional investigators reported several problems within both the C-TPAT and CSI programs among America’s Ports of Entry (POE). The General Accountability Office stated that 1/3 of U.S.-bound shipments were not reviewed for inspection, displaying a large gap in security among global chains. Another gap was found among ports in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa, where little if any screening takes place. These ports account for 20% of containers going into the U.S. Kim Peterson, President of SeaSecure LLC, the nation’s largest maritime security consulting company, believes that, “Al-Qaida can go to the Customs Web Site, identify which ports are in CSI partnership and pick a port in the developing world to ship a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) to Miami, New York or Los Angeles.” Even among the ports that are in partnership with CSI, terrorists have the ability to pick a well-known company find one of their poorly paid truck drivers, give a good bribe and smuggle what they wish. This is possible because CSI’s “trusted shippers,” the majority of which are the well-know companies, receive little or no inspection.     
 
Violation of Privacy
Several congressional leaders, travel executives and European leaders argue that CBP’s program, Automated Targeting System (ATS) invades people’s privacy and violates the privacy agreement between the U.S and the European Union. Through ATS, CBP has been assigning travelers on internal flights, both American and foreign, different scores designed to identify high-risk travelers. Opponents of this program are requesting that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suspend the program until privacy concerns can be addressed. Several authorities have objected to the fact that individuals have no way of knowing if they have been flagged as a risk to U.S security. CBP also shares information with other government agencies, other governments and with private contractors. Almost all public mention of ATS, refers to its scrutiny of cargo shipments, with little or no mention of its tracking of people.

 

more

Comments

faith davidson 1 year ago
I have question really..my boyfriend who lives in the u.k. sent me a package a couple of weeks ago..it contained two birthday cards and items of clothing..he got a letter from his postal service that stated it had left the u.k. and is here in the u.s. the problem is I have not yet recieved the package..how can I go about finding out where it might be?
andy lawton 1 year ago
Please mr. aguilar could you tell me why we dont have american outposts on all of u.s. mountains overlooking smuggling routes? could it be because you want them in? you drop men off in helicopters to search,then u take them off the mountain, knowing more will come. do you think were stupid? why not have an outpost where they cant get back up atop! you fucking people think were blind! as soon as i can ill pass this to the associated press,everybody should know how little you and your services are doing, outposts on mountains how fucking stupid is our border patrol!!!!!!!!
Honesty 1 year ago
There are fake Border/customs agents(or real agents) along with American Family sweepstakes trying to scam about a form 4790 and fees of 1% of winnings. Dont fall for it its very very detailed and almost convincing. I have names and numbers if needed.
veronica 2 years ago
deceo que porfavor me envien mis cosas que me quitaron en migracion el dia 9 de septiembre ya que las necesito porf.
ellen lanko 2 years ago
a coworker of mine wants to travel and cross the border at niagra falls. he has a green card and a nys drivers license. will he need any other documentation to enter canada and return to nys. he does have a chinese passport, not a us passport.
Stan Gill 2 years ago
received correspondence about fee's due to receive document that i believe is part of a scam for further funds that i have already contributed to this mess..fee's are totaled at 2650.00 and are made by a arroyo&coto sa international law firm, claiming to be out of jose costa rica, representing "las vegas direct sweepstakes"..
Marilyn Green 2 years ago
i recieve a lot of scam emails from all over the world and i received one today that states it is from the department of ghana. customs and border protection accra ghana, d.c. they state: pursuant to the department of the us customs and border protection's interim final rule on tarp, the office of the special master has completed its review. the person i am suppose to contact and send my information too is the following. i am mr. evans klutsey, am the assistant commissioner afla...
Joe Di Marco 2 years ago
my daughter is travelling to florida from canada and will be using my van for the trip. as the van is registered in my name i would like to know if she requires permission slip from me in order to have a smooth border crossing into the u.s. if certain requirements are mandatory, please advise me of the procedures as i would like to ensure her and her husband and children of a hassle free crossing. i do not know who else to contact, so i'm, hoping your department can advise me or gi...
Earl levasseur 3 years ago
how do i get an email address or phone # for u.s. customs and border protection admissibility review office 12825 worldgate drive herndon, va. 20598-1340
victor quiles 3 years ago
when is the next recruiting fair in milwaukee,indiana or chicago?

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Founded: March 1, 2003
Annual Budget: $8.46 billion (2008)
Employees: 46,000+
Official Website: http://www.cbp.gov/
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Kerlikowske, Gil
Commissioner

President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the new commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Robert Gil Kerlikowske, has been the nation’s “drug czar” since 2009. Kerlikowske has spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement, including a stint as a narcotics officer and eight years as Seattle’s police chief, during which he downplayed the importance of arresting individuals for marijuana possession—a position that, in the wake of the state-level legalization of marijuana possession by voters in Colorado and Washington, has become close to the official position of the Justice Department.

 

Born in Fort Myers, Florida, in 1949, Kerlikowske was raised by his mother and stepfather, who was a judge. As a high school student, Kerlikowske worked as a crime scene photographer on weekends, and he discovered his love for law enforcement while fingerprinting criminals at a Florida jail. Kerlikowske enrolled in St. Petersburg Junior College, but was drafted into the army in 1970, and joined the Army Military Police. He was stationed in Washington, DC, where his duties included saluting then-President Richard Nixon as he boarded the Marine One helicopter.

 

Kerlikowske married in 1972, and he and his first wife, Carol, had two children. After leaving the military, Kerlikowske began his law enforcement career in 1972 as a street cop for the St. Petersburg Police in Florida. His assignments included work as an undercover narcotics detective, an internal affairs investigator and a police hostage negotiator. By 1985 he had been promoted to head of the department’s criminal investigation division.

 

In his off hours, Kerlikowske attended college at the University of South Florida, where he earned a bachelor’s degree (1978) and a master’s degree (1985) in criminal justice. He later graduated from the National Executive Institute at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia, in 1984.

 

He was hired to be the police chief for the town of Port St. Lucie in Florida in March 1987. He later held the same post for Fort Pierce beginning in January 1990, before moving in 1994 to Buffalo, New York, to become police commissioner.

 

Kerlikowske was the first department outsider to lead the Buffalo police department. He was credited for lowering the crime rate, improving police relations with the community and introducing basic technological advancements in the Buffalo police department, along with instituting random drug testing of officers.

 

He married his second wife, criminal justice researcher Anna Laszlo, in 1995.

 

In 1998, Kerlikowske relocated to Washington, DC, to join the US Department of Justice during the Clinton administration. There, he served as a deputy director for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, where he oversaw community policing grants. During his time at the Justice Department, Kerlikowske established a strong relationship with Eric Holder, who served as deputy attorney general during the Clinton years, and is now U.S. Attorney General.

 

Kerlikowske was selected to become Seattle’s police chief in 2001. During his tenure in Seattle, Kerlikowske won credit for stabilizing the department after the stormy departure of Norm Stamper as chief in the wake of the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle. Crimes rates dipped during his time as chief, reaching historic lows in recent years.

 

But his time as police chief was not without some controversy and drama. Kerlikowske faced criticism over the department’s slow response to the 2001 Seattle Mardi Gras Riots that left one man dead and 70 people with injuries. During the incident, he ordered the police at the scene not to intervene, instead maintaining a perimeter around the violence. The city of Seattle acknowledged that police strategy presented a public safety threat, and settled with the murder victim’s family for just under $2,000,000. The next month, The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild voted no confidence in the chief, citing both the Mardi Gras riot and his public reprimand of an officer for being rude to a group of young jaywalkers.

 

In 2003, Kerlikowske was asked about his views on a local ballot initiative to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority. In response, he stated that “arresting people for possessing marijuana for personal use... is not a priority now.”

 

In 2004, Kerlikowske admitted publicly that he had been recruited to leave Seattle to run police departments in San Francisco and Boston. In September 2004, he allowed himself to be jolted with 50,000 volts of electricity to demonstrate the non-lethal efficiency of Taser guns. And in December, he left a 9-mm Glock semiautomatic handgun underneath the seat of his car while shopping with his wife. The gun was stolen out of his car, and a spokesman for Kerlikowske said the chief was “chagrined.”

 

In July 2007, a citizen oversight panel accused Kerlikowske of repeatedly interfering in an internal investigation into the actions of a pair of officers accused of beating a suspect.

 

As President Obama’s drug czar, Kerlikowske supported the continued federal crackdown on marijuana. On the other hand, after three years on the job, he admitted to Congress that he had failed to notice the “national crisis” of prescription drug abuse even though more Americans were dying from overdoses of prescription pain killers than from heroin and cocaine combined.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

Outgoing Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske's Greatest Hits (by Jacob Sullum, Reason)

Drug Czar Kerlikowske Suddenly Discovers Prescription Drug Death Crisis (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Gil Kerlikowske will Exit Drug Czar Post (by Joel Connelly, Seattle Pi)

Officers Taking No-Confidence Vote on Chief; Mayor backs Kerlikowske (by Ian Ith, Seattle Times)

Gil Kerlikowske: Obama's Drug Czar (Huffington Post)

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Aguilar, David
Previous Commissioner

Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Who Is David Aguilar?

 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is the largest uniformed, federal law enforcement agency in the country, has a new leader. David V. Aguilar, who has worked on border enforcement for more than thirty-three years, has been named CBP Acting Commissioner in the wake of the refusal of Senate Republicans to hold a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Alan Bersin to the post. Effective January 1, 2012, Aguilar will be in charge of more than 20,000 uniformed agents.
 
Born in December 1955 near Rio Grande City, Texas, Aguilar earned an Associate Degree in Accounting at Laredo Community College, and attended Laredo State University and the University of Texas at Arlington. He is also a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Spring Class of 1999.
 
Aguilar joined the United States Border Patrol in June 1978 at Laredo, Texas, where he served as first line supervisor, Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge and Patrol Agent in Charge. From January 1988 to August 1996, Aguilar served as Patrol Agent in Charge of three Border Patrol Stations in Texas: Dallas (1988-1992), Rio Grande Valley (1992-1995) and Brownsville (July 1995-August 1996), which was the largest Border Patrol Station in the Central Region.
 
From August 1996 to November 1999, Aguilar served as Assistant Regional Director for the Border Patrol in the Central Region of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). From December 1999 to June 2004, he was the Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector, where he had more than 2,000 Border Patrol Agents and over 200 support personnel under his command, spread out over eight geographically dispersed Border Patrol Stations along 261 miles of the Arizona/Mexico border. The year 2004 was a banner one for Aguilar: in March he was designated as the Border and Transportation Security Integrator for Arizona Border Control Initiative, and on July 1, he took over as Chief of the United States Border Patrol, in charge of more than 12,000 Border Patrol Agents nationwide. He was also elected President of the Southern Arizona Federal Executive Association.
 
As Border Patrol Chief, Aguilar became the target of the anger of the National Border Patrol Council (the union representing border patrol officers), which passed a resolution of “no-confidence” in him because he supported the 2007 prosecution and jury trial conviction of two border patrol agents who in 2005 had shot an unarmed illegal alien and then covered up the shooting.
 
After six years as Chief of the Border Patrol, Aguilar was named Deputy Commissioner of (CBP) on April 11, 2010, serving as Chief Operating Officer and overseeing the daily operations of CBP’s 57,000-employee workforce and managing an operating budget of more than $11 billion.
 
Aguilar and his wife, Bea, were married circa 1975, and have three children and three grandchildren.
 
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