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U S Custom Border Protection Are We Secure Criminology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 3496 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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U.S customs and border protection is the united states department of homeland security, which is charged for facilitation and regulation of international trades, enforcing U.S regulations and laws, including trade, customs and immigration. It is responsible for protecting the United States sovereign border at and between the official ports of entry. The agency protects the U.S from terrorist and harmful weapons. It provides assuarity of protection against human and drug trafficking and illegal immigration. This agency is protecting united state’s agriculture and economy from harmful pest and diseases. It’s the federal enforcement agency which keeps an eye on illegal immigrations and providing security from intellectual property theft. Over 40000 soldiers ensures that border traffic moves smoothly to legitimate travel and trade while keeping undesirable people and goods out of the country. It was established in 2003. Its mission statement is:

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“We are the guardians of our nation’s borders. We are America’s frontline. We safeguard the American homeland at and beyond our borders. We protect the American public against terrorists and the instruments of terror. We steadfastly enforce the laws of the United States while fostering our nation’s economic security through lawful international trade and travel. We serve the American public with vigilance, integrity, and professionalism.” CBP.gov: CBP Mission Statement and Core Values


U.S customs and border protection has the authority to search inbound and outbound shipments, and carry out its mission in these areas. It has the power to seize all the merchandise that is stolen or smuggled. CBP plays a key role in over all anti drug effort at the border. Drug interdiction is the primary undertaking encapsulated by CBP’s overall mission to secure the nation’s borders and prevent unlawful entry of dangerous people and goods while facilitating the legitimate flow of travel and trade. CBP combine all the law enforcement agencies under one administrative umbrella. This involved absorbing employees from the Immigration and

Naturalization Service (INS), the Border Patrol, the Customs Service, and the Department

Of Agriculture. Its primary mission is to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, and unauthorized aliens into the country, and to interdict drug smugglers and

other criminals. The USBP is thus vitally important to our nation’s defense against

Terrorists and all others who are attempting to enter goods or persons into the country illegally. In the course of discharging its duties the USBP patrols over 8,000 miles of our international

Borders with Mexico and Canada and the coastal waters around Florida and Puerto Rico. At official ports of entry, CBP officers are responsible for conducting immigrations, culture and agricultures inspection on entering aliens. As a result of new one face at the border initiative the CBP officers are cross-trained to perform all three types of inspections in order to stream line the border crossing process. CBP officers enforces the immigration law by examining and verifying the law documents for traveling so that to ensure that they have the legal right to enter the country. On the customs side, CBP inspectors ensure that all imports and exports

Comply with U.S. laws and regulations, collect and protect U.S. revenues, and guard

against the smuggling of contraband. In order to apply and execute its mission.CBP maintains and utilizes several database. CBP also administers the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (U.S-VISIT) program, which requires all incoming non-immigrant aliens to

Submit to a biometric scan. Additionally, CBP administers the Container Security

Initiative, a program in which CBP inspector’s pre-screen U.S.-bound marine containers

at foreign ports of loading around the world.

Environmental Stewardship:

Congress has given the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a governmental permission to obtain and maintain operational control of the border. U.S custom and border protection is the part of DHS, whose solitary purpose is to protect the borders. Building and controlling strategic infrastructure is the main objective of the CBP. Strategic infrastructure lets border officers to do their job in a more effective way. CBP is required to making, controlling and maintaining strategic infrastructure in an environmentally dependable method. Environmental planning helps CBP carry out this requirement. CBP works in a mutual way with the local government, even with the civilians to recognize, understand and reduce its impact on the environment. CBP prepared Environmental Stewardship Plans (ESPs) and worked effectively with State and Federal resources agencies, affected landowners, and other stakeholders.

Cultural Stewardship:

CBP plays a role in protecting and enhancing culture for future generations, and takes significant conservation into account in planning and carrying out facilities and operational activities. To safeguard traditional and cultural resources and guarantee their liable and respectful treatment, CBP promotes communication and partnerships with Native groups, the private sector, and important government entities.


The U.S customs service was initially established during 17th century by the fifth act of the first congress of the United States at 31 July 1789, which emerged from the 2nd and 3rd act of the first congress of united states, which established the system of tariffs on imported goods and tonnages of ships. There was a urgent need of money to support the federal government so the founding father and member of congress imposed tariff on imports and tonnage of ships, and created a well-regulated customs service to ensure due collections. The department of custom services was then placed under the supervision of President Washington after the creation of department of treasury on September, 11, 1789, when the President appointed Alexander Hamilton as the first treasury secretary. In 1790 congress authorizes the treasury secretary to undertake the building of 10 customs revenue cutters. Customs collectors tasked with the design, building and selection of crews and captain, and management of U.S revenue marine. In 1791 congress authorizes the president to utilize the U.S revenue marine for the defense of the nation. Afterward treasury secretary authorized to employ the special agents for the purpose of examining the account and books of the collectors of customs. Special treasury agents were also created in the same year. In 1796 collectors of customs was tasked to aid the enforcement of quarantine and healthy laws. 1789 was the year of establishment of the marine hospital services. In 1799 the customs ensign and pennant was designed by treasury secretary Oliver Wolcott.

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During 18th century customs services had eradicated the huge national debt incurred during the American Revolution. In 1836 commissioner of patents worked for the agriculture. On 27 December 1837 life saving service was established by the department of treasury. Customs Revenue represented 90% of all federal funds deposited in the U.S treasury, in 1860. The bureau of internal revenue was established in 1862, in order to fund cost of the civil war a personal income tax was also established by the treasury department. In the same year president Lincoln also established the U.S department of agriculture. In 1870 U.S special agency service was established as the branch office in the office of secretary of the treasury. Revenues marine division was created in the treasury department in 1871. After the civil war, various states began passing their own immigration laws, which in 1875 led to the supreme court ruling that enforcement of immigration laws was a federal responsibility. In 1879 congress enables the creation of position of the fraud roll employee which is often titled as the customs agents or special agents. In 1890 custom administrative act established board of general appraisal which was renamed as United States customs court in 1926. The collection and revenue of customs service was the primary source of federal funding until the permanent establishment of the personal income tax in 1913.

During the era of 1853 and 1939, the responsibility for the design and construction of federal buildings nationwide lay with the office of the supervising architect of the treasury. The authority and the responsibility for the federal architect program as removed from the treasury department after the creation of public buildings administration in the federal work agency in 1939. 16th December 1900 was the year of opening of the rebuilt immigration station .public health and marine hospital services was established in the treasury department which was renamed as public health service in 1912. On 12 June 1906 the basic naturalization act provides the uniform rule of naturalization of the aliens. This act required that the applicants should be able to speak English, in the same year bureau of naturalization and immigration was joined into a single entity which was named as the bureau of immigration and naturalization. In 1912 federal horticultural board was established.1917 to 1924 was the era of immigration control.1920 to 1933 was the prohibition era. Customs mounted inspectors was officially changed to customs patrol inspectors in may 1933.during world war ii all the port operations were maintained by the customs service ,customs immigration and naturalization service and the state department along with the U.S military and the coast guard which were assumed overall control of the port security.1952 was the year of creation of customs co-operation council. U.S border patrol canine program was initiated with purchase of surplus military sentry dogs from the U.S military. Customs computer program opened and online in 1966.air security program was initiated in1970, prompted by multiple hijacking of U.S flag air careers.1973 was the year in which bureau of customs officially renamed as the United States Customs Services. In 1987 customs automated commercial systems was fully implemented. In 1990 treasury department established financial crime enforcement network .in 1994 customs co-operation council adopts the working name world customs organization. In the attack on world trade center U.S customs house was destroyed and fortunately it does not suffer any life loss. After this incident, on 19th September the terrorism task force was established to coordinate all investigation leads and intelligence information developed by customs with regard to the terrorist attacks in the United States. U.S customs then established container security initiative(CSI) in 2002.on 1st march 2003 bureau of customs and border protection was established in the directorate for border and transportation security, department of homeland security. In the same year, congress mandates the creation of a northern border year wing. Border safety initiative was announced. 24-hour rule was established. Customs trade partnership against terrorism was launched. CBP creates AG/BIO -TERROR COUNTERMEASURES (ABTC) with the mission to prevent the entry of AG/BIO terrorist and their weapons. OASISS was expended in 2007. Automated commercial environment was deployed. According to western hemisphere travel initiative, travelers entering the united states by land or sea must have travel documentation. They must have one of six things us passport, U.S passport card, enhanced driver license card, trusted traveler program cards, special groups. Today, it is the second largest source of revenue supporting the federal government.



Increased Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System (ISIS), that utilizes distantly supervised night-day camera and sensing to better identify, observe and react to illegal crossings on either the north or the south borders of the country. Organized radiation detection also included the personal radiation detectors (PRDs) to above 10,400 CBP officials. A southwest initiative that initiated, the Geographic Information System (GIS), which detects prohibited migration patterns to better organize personnel and resource to obtain better control on the border. Augmented border patrol aircraft and marine operations on the northern, southern and coastal areas to improve our aptitude to defend the waterways. Tripled the number of agents before 9/11, from 1000 to a 11, 200 at the present situation.

Secure traveler programs:

Implemented NEXUS, a substitute detection system that allows pre-screened, less risky travelers to be processed in an accelerated manner by CBP, through a designated commuter track at several Canadian land borders. Used the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) at ports of entrance along U.S- Mexico border.

Improved selectivity, screening, and targeting:

The NTC is the centralized synchronization spot for all of CBPs anti-terrorism efforts. Utilizing complicated targeting methodology it investigates, display, and aims for thorough anti-terrorism examination of all passengers and cargo before entrance in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CBP personnel are working together at the NTC to protect the U.S rations supply by viewing risky imported food deliveries. The Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS) were started in August 2003, It is an Internet/Intranet based system managed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that electronically confine, maintains, and detects information significant to each foreign student.

Pushing Our Zone of Security Outward

CSI enables the CBP to target, and with our foreign counterparts, screen containers, prior to the container being loaded on ships intended for the U.S. Organized , Immigration Security Initiative (ISI) pilot program that places teams of CBP officers at key foreign center airports working with overseas law enforcement and airline officer to detect risky passengers preceding to boarding U.S. aircraft. Extending the Border Safety Initiative (BSI), whose most important purpose is the lessening of damages and avoidance of deaths in the southwest border region and the formation of a safer border environment?

One Face at the Border:

Issued new DHS badges to CBP officers, CBP agriculture specialists, and CBP Border Patrol agents. The new badge is the noticeable, uniting icon of the entire CBP frontline workforce. Effectively started four different organizations from three different departments of government into CBP without any disturbance in operations. Expanded coverage of the Customs Officer Pay Reform Act (COPRA) to bring equality to inspector overtime pay. Initiated an inventive Border Patrol repositioning cost program. The new program reduces the average cost of voluntary moves for Border Patrol Agents from approximately $72,000 to $12,000 per move.


Enhanced anti-terrorism training for all CBP personnel. CBP has carried out an anti-terrorism training for all workers with a special focus upon training related to weapons of mass outcome. This includes identifying potential items of terrorism using non-intrusive detection technology and radiation detection equipment. Keeping our borders and our future protected and safe CBP will continue its efforts to defend our borders against terrorists and their weapons through original use of detection technology, advanced information systems, and mutual projects with the trade and foreign governments while maintaining a strong and friendly tourism and commercial trade attitude.

Weaknesses and criticism

An article known as “DHS Decision-making: Competence or Character?”, James Giermanski states that the main problem in CBP is has not just feeble but at times inconsistent management. He says that CBP undergo “seriously flawed decision making”, mentioning the “door only” policy, radio frequency identification technology, and having no focus on exports that may contain bombs. National Public Radio’s Morning edition stated that CBP radiation detection equipment at ports is better at inspecting kitty litter than dangerous weapons, and that U.S borders are so permeable that congressional investigators carrying stimulated nuclear have been able to go across the borders without any harm. CBP chemists and textile analysts that were working in the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) were told to write official laboratory reports without the proper training or knowledge in merchandise entering the nation’s borders. CBP has also been blamed of failing to defend U.S consumers from risks such as: lead in toys, poison in dog/cat food, poison in imported fish, and the false positive radiation detectors at U.S ports. At the time of a federal court case for unlawful removal, CBP and United States Department of Justice attorneys quoted the U.S. Supreme Court case of Garcetti v. Ceballos (04-473), which stated that CBP recruits do not have protection from retribution by CBP managers under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The free speech protections of the First Amendment have long been used to protect whistleblowers from retribution.


U.S custom and border protections core values are vigilance, service to country and integrity. The employees of this agency are dedicated and protecting our borders. Many employees put their lives on the line like other individuals serving our country and their communities but they often come under fire of their actions. It has seen in the past that border patrol employees have been arrested and they may or may not have any justification for their actions. I have no problem with taking action against those who violate valid laws but there must be clear proof for the existence of such violations for which action has been taken. In my opinion it is very irresponsible to arrest border patrols without clear evident of crime because it send bad signal to others watching how they accomplish assigned tasks. It imprints the impact to the people that they are not safe because if those who are assigned to enforced laws and constitutions are breaking laws then how could they prevent us from law breakers. This can lead to safety concerns as they would be worried about how their actions are viewed after the fact. They may think twice before taking action and this can cause injury or death of these employees. Border patrol employees help to make this country safer and should be treated with respect. They and others who are helping to secure our borders should be thanked, not prosecuted. The mission and responsibilities of this department can sometimes put their employees in dangerous situations. While it is important to assure that all our laws are upheld in the performance of assigned duties and those responsibilities for enforcement must consider the circumstances. There are certain circumstances when these agencies placed their soldiers in difficult and sometimes dangerous situations that are not limited to this agency. Making decision to prosecute a federal employee should be taken with caution as prosecuting someone for doing their job send a wrong signal to others. Nevertheless our countries border patrol employees are taking risk just to give protection to their country then how could we be not secure. They are taking certain measures to more ensure our country’s security. We are a nation of immigrants. Developing a solution to the current problem of immigration must be accomplished for this purpose. I personally feel that there must be a method to recognize those individuals that fulfill a need and provide them with a way to remain in the country. Recently president Obama meets with lawmakers to develop a strategy for passing a bill this year. He is making a renewed push for an immigration overhaul. It is reported that he plans to make the case for providing a path legal status for the estimated 11 million people who live in the U.S illegally while strengthening border enforcement. Moreover CBP has changed border crossing documents requirements. Now you have to have one of six things U.S passport, U.S passport card, enhanced driver license card, trusted traveler program cards, special groups. While those individuals who violate the laws in our country do not deserve to acquire citizenship of United States. CBP Taking safety measures against terrorism as it is at its peak these days to protect our country from terrorism.


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