Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Gil Kerlikowske gave a speech on Wednesday at the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg highlighting the future of the CBP and the day to day operations it faces.
“So what does a typical day look like?” Kerlikowske said. “On a typical day, CBP seizes more than five tons of narcotics; arrests 21 wanted criminals at ports of entry; intercepts 76 fraudulent documents; seizes $3.4 million in counterfeit products; flies more than 200 enforcement missions over the U.S.; and apprehends more than 1,300 inadmissible people at and between our ports of entry.”
There are three operating components for the CBP – border patrol, field operations, and air and maritime. The agency also enforces approximately 500 laws for 47 different federal agencies. In addition, a pair of specialized groups, BORTAC and BORSTAR, are highly-trained, elite units currently conducting such high-risk operations as arrests, hostage situations, and search and rescue.
The agency has approximately 20,000 border patrol agents that use myriad tactics to secure the border. Furthermore, the agency has been working to implement a “zone of security” beyond the traditional American border to stop illicit items before they reach land in the U.S..
CBP now pre-checks travelers from 15 foreign locations in six countries and is working to expand the pre-check to 10 more airports in nine foreign countries.