Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 03070210 (posted Jul. 2, 2003)"
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CPB)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mario Villarreal at (202) 927-1549
July 2, 2003
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Assign Additional Border
Patrol Agents to Increase Northern Border Security Over 375 agents to be
re-assigned, bringing total to over 1,000 on Northern Border
Washington, DC - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner has directed that additional Border Patrol agents be deployed
as part of the continuing effort to enhance northern border security. More than
three hundred and seventy-five Border Patrol agents will be strategically and
permanently assigned to various locations along the northern border bringing the
total number of Border Patrol agents to 1,000 along the U.S border with Canada.
"Homeland security is our top priority," said CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner.
"Customs and Border Protection has the front line responsibility for detecting
terrorists and terrorists weapons including weapons of mass destruction at our
nation's borders. The Border Patrol is an essential part of Customs and Border
Protection and provides security against intrusions between our nation's
official crossing points. Given the terrorist threat, we were clearly
understaffed on the northern border. This is an important step in increasing
security along our northern border and is necessary given the continuing threat
of terrorism," Bonner added.
Funding for these additional permanent positions was provided in the fiscal
year 2003 budget passed by Congress. In May 2002, 245 Border Patrol agents were
selected as part of the northern border fiscal year 2002 enhancements and the
wartime supplemental appropriation. By the end of this year, approximately 1,000
Border Patrol agents will be permanently assigned to the northern border. The
Border Patrol has also deployed additional aircraft to provide air coverage
across the entire northern border.
The Border Patrol was transferred from the former INS and became a division
of Customs and Border Protection on March 1, 2003. Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) is a new agency within the Department of Homeland Security's Border and
Transportation Security Directorate. In addition to the Border Patrol, CBP
unifies all of the Inspectors (Customs, Immigration and Agriculture) at the
ports of entry of the United States, including all of the ports of entry.
Currently, CBP has over 2,500 inspectors assigned to the northern border