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US Customs and Border Protection

"Customs and Border Protection" redirects here. For the Australian agency, see Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Common name U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Abbreviation CBP
Patch of CBP
Logo of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
CBP officer badge
Agency overview
Formed March 1, 2003
Preceding agencies
Employees 63,560+ (2013)
Annual budget $11.86 billion (2013)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency USA
General nature
  • Federal law enforcement
  • Civilian agency
Operational structure
Headquarters Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, D.C.
Federal Law Enforcement Sworn Officerss 45,741
Agency executive Thomas S. Winkowski (Acting), Commissioner
Parent agency U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Commands Office of Field Operations, Office of Border Patrol, Office of Air and Marine
Website
www.cbp.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is a federal law enforcement agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations, including trade, customs, and immigration. CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in the United States.[1][2] It has a workforce of more than 45,600 sworn federal agents and officers. It has its headquarters in Washington, D.C.[3]

While its primary mission is preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States, CBP is also responsible for apprehending individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally including those with a criminal record, stemming the flow of illegal drugs and other contraband, protecting United States agricultural and economic interests from harmful pests and diseases, and protecting American businesses from intellectual property theft.

Organization

Overview

CBP has a workforce of over 58,000 employees, including officers and agents, agriculture specialists, aircraft pilots, trade specialists, mission support staff, and canine enforcement officers and agents.

  • More than 21,180 CBP Officers inspect and examine passengers and cargo at over 300 ports of entry.
  • Over 2,200 CBP Agriculture Specialists work to curtail the spread of harmful pests and plant and animal diseases that may harm America’s farms and food supply or cause bio- and agro-terrorism.
  • Over 21,370 Border Patrol Agents protect and patrol 1,900 miles (3,100 km) of border with Mexico and 5,000 miles (8,000 km) of border with Canada.
  • Nearly 1,050 Air and Marine Interdiction Agents prevent people, weapons, narcotics, and conveyances from illegal entry by air and water.
  • Nearly 2,500 employees in CBP revenue positions collect over $30 billion annually in entry duties and taxes through the enforcement of trade and tariff laws. These collections provide the second largest revenue for the U.S. Government. In addition, these employees fulfill the agency’s trade mission by appraising and classifying imported merchandise. These employees serve in positions such as import specialist, auditor, international trade specialist, and textile analyst.
  • The CBP Canine Enforcement Program conducts the largest number of working dogs of any U.S. federal law enforcement agency. K-9 teams are assigned to 73 commercial ports and 74 Border Patrol stations throughout the nation.[4][5]

There are 327 officially designated ports of entry and an additional 14 pre-clearance locations[6] in Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean. CBP is also in charge of the Container Security Initiative, which identifies and inspects foreign cargo in its mother country before it is to be imported into the United States.

The major offices operating under CBP are:

  • The Office of Field Operations (OFO); headed by Assistant Commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski.
  • The Office of Border Patrol (OBP); headed by Chief Michael J. Fisher.
  • The Office of Air and Marine (OAM); headed by Assistant Commissioner Randolph D. Alles.
  • The Office of International Trade (OT); headed by Assistant Commissioner Allen Gina.
  • The Office of Information and Technology (OIT); headed by Assistant Commissioner Charles Armstrong.
  • The Office of Administration (OA); formerly the Office of Finance; headed by Assistant Commissioner Eugene Schied.
  • The Office of Training and Development (OTD); headed by Assistant Commissioner Christopher J. Hall.
  • The Office of Internal Affairs (IA); headed by Assistant Commissioner James Tomsheck.
  • The Office of Intelligence and Investigative Liaison (OIIL); headed by Assistant Commissioner Donna Bucella. Established in July 2011, following a re-organization of the Office of Intelligence & Operations Coordination (OIOC) from the merger of the former Offices of Intelligence and Anti-Terrorism in July 2007.

CBP assess all passengers flying into the U.S. for terrorist risk via Joint Terrorism Task Force and systems such as Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indication Technology US-VISIT, and the Student and Exchange Visitor System SEVIS. CBP also works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to screen high-risk imported food shipments in order to prevent bio-terrorism/agro-terrorism.

Through the Container Security Initiative, CBP works jointly with host nation counterparts to identify and screen containers that pose a risk at the foreign port of departure before they are loaded on board vessels bound for the U.S. CSI is implemented in 20 of the largest ports in terms of container shipments to the U.S., and at a total of 58 ports worldwide.

The Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection program allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers from Mexico to be processed through dedicated lanes. NEXUS is a similar program on the country's northern border with Canada. Along both borders, CBP has implemented the Free and Secure Trade, which utilizes transponder technology and pre-arrival shipment information to process participating trucks as they arrive at the border. An agreement with Canada allows CBP to target, screen, and examine rail shipments headed to the U.S.

Structure

  • Commissioner
    • Deputy Commissioner
      • Office of Field Operations
      • Office of Air and Marine
      • Office of Border Patrol
      • Intelligence and Operations Coordination
      • International Affairs
      • International Trade
      • Human Resources Management
      • Technology Innovation and Acquisitions
      • Information and Technology
      • Administration
      • Public Affairs
      • Internal Affairs
      • Congressional Affairs

Enforcement powers

CBP has the authority to search outbound and inbound shipments, and uses targeting to carry out its mission in this area. Under Section 596 of the Tariff Act, CBP is required to seize and forfeit all merchandise that is stolen, smuggled, or clandestinely imported or introduced.[7] CBP is also required to seize and forfeit controlled substances, certain contraband articles, and plastic explosives that do not contain a detection agent. In conjunction with the Department of State and the Bureau of the Census, CBP has put in place regulations that require submission of electronic export information on U.S. Munitions List and for technology for the Commerce Control List. CBP uses advance information from the Automated Targeting System and the Automated Export System to identify cargo that may pose a threat. CBP also works with the Departments of State and Defense to improve procedures on exported shipments of foreign military sales commodities.

Merchandise may also be seized and forfeited if:

  • Its importation is restricted or prohibited because of a law relating to health, safety or conservation;
  • The merchandise is lacking a federal license required for the importation;
  • The merchandise or packaging is in violation of copyright, trademark, trade name, or trade dress protections;
  • The merchandise is intentionally or repetitively marked in violation of country of origin marking requirements; or
  • The imported merchandise is subject to quantitative restrictions requiring a visa or similar document from a foreign government, and the document presented with the entry is counterfeit.

Civil penalties

Section 592 of the Tariff Act of 1930 is the basic and most widely used customs penalty provision for the importation of goods. It prescribes monetary penalties against any person who imports, attempts to import, or aids or procures the importation of merchandise by means of false or fraudulent documents, statements, omissions or practices, concerning any material fact. Penalties may be applied even in situations where there is no loss of revenue.

Section 592 infractions are divided into three categories of culpability, each giving rise to a different maximum penalty:

  • Fraud, an act or omission done intentionally to defraud the United States Department of Revenue. The maximum civil penalty for a violation is the domestic value of the merchandise in the entry or entries concerned.
  • Gross negligence, an act or omission with actual knowledge of, or wanton disregard for, the relevant facts and a disregard of section 592 obligations. The maximum civil penalty is the lesser of the domestic value of the merchandise or four times the loss of revenue (actual or potential). IF the infraction does not affect revenue, the maximum penalty is 40% of the dutiable value of the good.
  • Negligence, involving a failure to exercise due care in ascertaining the material facts or in ascertaining the obligations under section 592. The maximum civil penalties are the same for gross negligence, except the lesser of twice the domestic value of the merchandise or twice the loss of revenue is used. The penalty cannot exceed 20% of the dutiable value.

The Customs Modernization Act amended section 592 to apply existing penalties for false information to information transmitted electronically and allows Customs to recover unpaid taxes and fees resulting from 592 violations. It also introduced the requirement that importers use "reasonable care" in making entry and providing the initial classification and appraisement, establishing a "shared responsibility" between Customs and importers, thus allowing Customs to rely on the accuracy of the information submitted and streamline entry procedures. To the extent that an importer fails to use reasonable care, Customs may impose a penalty under section

US Customs Agriculture Specialist Officers are allowed to issue civil penalties in accordance with CFR 7 & 9.

Criminal penalties

In addition to the civil penalties, a criminal fraud statute provides for sanctions to those presenting false information to customs officers.[8] Section 542 provides a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, or a $5,000 fine, or both, for each violation involving an importation or attempted importation.

History

U.S. Customs Service

Responding to an urgent need for revenue following the American Revolutionary War, the First United States Congress passed, and President George Washington, signed the Tariff Act of July 4, 1789, which authorized the collection of duties on imported goods. Four weeks later, on July 31, the fifth act of Congress established the United States Customs Service and its ports of entry.

For nearly 125 years, the U.S. Customs Service was the primary source of governmental funds, which paid for the nation's early growth and infrastructure.[9] Purchases include the Louisiana and Oregon territories; Florida, Alaska, and Washington, D.C.; funding the National Road and the Transcontinental Railroad; building many of the United States' lighthouses; and the U.S. Military and Naval academies.

In March 2003, the Customs Service was dissolved to form part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division.

Immigration and Naturalization Service

Shortly after the American Civil War, some states started to pass their own immigration laws, which prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in 1875 that immigration was a federal responsibility. The Immigration Act of 1891 established an Office of the Superintendent of Immigration within the United States Department of the Treasury. This office was responsible for admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the United States and for implementing national immigration policy. "Immigrant inspectors", as they were then called, were stationed at major U.S. ports of entry collecting manifests of arriving passengers. A "head tax" of fifty cents was collected on each immigrant.

In the early 20th century Congress's primary interest in immigration was protecting American workers and wages – the reason it had become a federal concern in the first place. This made immigration more a matter of commerce than revenue; hence, in 1903, Congress transferred the Bureau of Immigration to the newly created Department of Commerce and Labor.

After World War I, Congress attempted to stem the flow of immigrants, still mainly coming from Europe, by passing laws in 1921 and 1924 limiting the number of newcomers by assigning a quota to each nationality based upon its representation in previous U.S. census figures. Each year, the U.S. State Department issued a limited number of visas; only those immigrants who had obtained them and could present valid visas were permitted entry.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Immigration and Naturalization Service from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice in 1940.

Reorganization (2003 to present)

CBP became an official agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003, combining employees from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (specifically the Plant Protection Quarantine inspectors),[10] the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (specifically, immigration inspectors and the United States Border Patrol), and the United States Customs Service. This transformation was led by former Commissioner Robert C. Bonner.

W. Ralph Basham was nominated to the post of Commissioner by President George W. Bush on January 30, 2006. Basham had 28 years of experience as a law enforcement manager, including serving as the head of the Secret Service and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He had also served as the chief of staff for the Transportation Security Administration. It is the largest federal law enforcement agency that works closely with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Personnel

CBP Officers (OFO)


CBP officers[11] are federal law enforcement officers empowered to exercise the authority and perform the duties provided by law and Department of Homeland Security regulations, including making arrests, conducting searches, making seizures, bearing firearms, and serving any order or warrant. CBP officers have full law enforcement powers on and off duty. CBP officers defend against terrorist intrusion by identifying high risk individuals who are attempting to enter into the United States; stop criminal activities – such as drug trafficking, child pornography (including on computers, cell phones, and other electronic media), weapons trafficking, and money laundering – by inspecting vehicles and trucks; and prevent the illegal entry of individuals, the smuggling of prohibited goods, and other customs and immigration violations. Officers are armed with Heckler & Koch P2000 pistols chambered in .40 S&W, expandable batons, and oleoresin capsicum pepper spray. In accordance with Public Law 110-161, CBP officers are covered under special law enforcement retirement, and all candidates must be referred for selection for this position before reaching their 37th birthday.

Officer candidates attend the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, in Glynco, Georgia for 20 weeks of paid training. Candidate training consists of basic law enforcement skills, including Anti-Terrorism; Detection of Contraband; Interviewing; Cross-cultural Communications; Firearms Handling and Qualification; Immigration and Naturalization Laws; U.S. Customs Export and Import laws, Defensive Tactics and Driving; Crime Investigation Site; Arrest Techniques; Baton Techniques; Examination of Cargo; Bags and Merchandise; Border Search Exception; Entry and Control Procedures; Passenger Processing; and Officer Safety and Survival. Those candidates selected for duty locations requiring Spanish may receive an additional 6 weeks of Spanish Language training. Officers who additionally serve on CBP's Special Response Team are trained for an additional six weeks with the U.S. Border Patrol Tactical Unit in Artesia, New Mexico. For more information on training, download FLETC Training PDF[12] and reference the specific program title of Bureau of Customs and Border Protection Integrated Training Program (BCBPI).

CBP Officers may begin their careers in any region for which they apply. The duty region is selected during the application phase, and generally cannot be changed once selected. Proficiency in Spanish is a duty requirement only for those stationed along southern border regions, although it is not a requirement before being hired. CBP Officers stationed along southern border regions will undergo Spanish language training before coming on duty.

The CBP Officer position is categorized as a "critical-sensitive" position in law enforcement. For this reason, officer candidates must undergo a single scope background investigation before being appointed. In addition, officer candidates must undergo drug and medical examination, polygraph examination, physical fitness test, and video based interview during the pre-appointment phase.[13]

CBP Officer (OFO) ranks and insignia

Title Collar insignia Pay grade
Assistant Commissioner, Field Operations (AC)
SES
Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Field Operations (DAC)
SES
Director, Field Operations (DFO)
SES
Area Port Director (PD)
GS-14 or GS-15
Assistant Area Port Director (APD)

Watch Commander(WC)

GS-14
Chief CBP Officer (CCBPO)

CBP Officer Program Manager

GS-13
Supervisory CBP Officer (SCBPO)
GS-13
CBP Officer K-9 Lead (CBPO-Canine)
GS-12
CBP Officer Enforcement (CBPOE)

CBP Officer Intelligence (CBPOI)

GS-12
CBP Officer (CBPO) (Journeyman)
GS-12
CBP Officer (CBPO)
GS-9, GS-11
CBP Officer (CBPO)
GS-5, GS-7

Agriculture Specialists (OFO)



CBP Agriculture Specialists[14] receive 11 weeks of paid training at the Professional Development Center in Frederick, Maryland. Agriculture Specialists are stationed at international ports of entry located at airports, seaports, and land borders throughout the U.S. and along the Canadian and Mexican borders; they are also stationed overseas in various countries authorized by the United States to have commodities pre-cleared. They are uniformed federal officers with the authority to conduct random inspections of luggage or items entering the country and the power to seize prohibited or contaminated items, such as certain kinds of fruit. Agricultural Specialists issue civil fines, not to be confused with collecting duty or tax, to both international travelers and commercial entities in accordance with the federal laws CFR 7 & 9; they do not however collect duty taxes. They also serve as expert and technical consultants in the areas of inspection, intelligence, analysis, examination and law enforcement activities related to the importation of agricultural/commercial commodities and conveyances at the various ports of entry. Agriculture Specialists apply a wide range of federal, state and local laws and agency regulations when determining the admissibility of agriculture commodities while preventing the introduction of harmful pests, diseases and potential agro-terrorism into the United States. They participate in special enforcement, targeting or analysis teams charged with collecting and analyzing information and identifying high-risk targets; or conduct visual and physical inspections of cargo, conveyances or passenger baggage. The Agriculture Specialist plans, conducts, and supervises remedial actions such as treating, disinfecting and decontaminating prohibited commodities, conveyances, contaminants or agricultural materials.[15][16]

The Agriculture Specialist position is categorized as a "sensitive" position in law enforcement and may be granted up to the "Secret" level security clearance. Candidates must undergo a single scope background investigation before being appointed. In addition, the candidates must undergo drug and medical examinations and a video based interview during the pre-appointment phase.

Border Patrol Agents (OBP)

United States Border Patrol Agents[17] are federal law enforcement agents who actively patrol the borders to prevent persons from entering or leaving the United States without government permission. Agents detect and prevent the smuggling and unlawful entry of aliens into the United States, along with apprehending those people found to be in violation of immigration laws. Agents work to lower crimes and improve the quality of life in border communities. In some areas Agents are deputized or have peace-officer status and use it to enforce local and state/territory laws. File:CPB UAS Sample Surveillance Video 02282008 .theora.ogv One of the most important activities for a United States Border Patrol Agent is "line watch". This involves the detection, prevention and apprehension of terrorists, illegal aliens and smugglers of both aliens and contraband at or near the land border by maintaining surveillance from a covert position, following up leads, responding to electronic sensor television systems, aircraft sightings, and interpreting and following tracks, marks and other physical evidence. Some of the major activities are farm and ranch check, traffic check, traffic observation, city patrol, transportation check, administrative, intelligence, and anti-smuggling activities.

All agents complete a 55-day paid "Basic Academy" training at the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. Training includes such topics as immigration and nationality laws, physical training (PT), weapons and marksmanship. For those needing Spanish language instruction, an additional 40 days may be required beyond the 55 days of Basic Academy training. Border Patrol Agents must be willing to work overtime and varying shifts under arduous conditions, and be proficient in the carry and use of firearms. They may also be sent on temporary assignments on short notice, or on permanent reassignments to any duty location. All new agents begin their careers along the Southwest border, where a working knowledge of Spanish is required.[17][18]

Border Patrol (OBP) ranks and insignia

Location Title Collar insignia Shoulder ornament Pay grade
Border Patrol Headquarters Chief of the Border Patrol
Gold-plated
Senior Executive Service (SES)
Deputy Chief of the Border Patrol
Gold-plated
SES
Division Chief
Gold-plated
SES
Deputy Division Chief
Gold-plated
GS-15, General Schedule
Associate Chief
Gold-plated
GS-15
Assistant Chief
Gold-plated
GS-14
Operations Officer
Gold-plated
GS-13
Border Patrol Sectors Chief Patrol Agent (CPA)
Silver-plated
SES
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent (DCPA)
Silver-plated
SES
Division Chief/ACTT Director
Silver-plated
GS-15
Executive Officer/Assistant Chief Patrol Agent (ACPA)
Silver-plated
GS-15 or GS-14
Special Operations Supervisor (SOS)
Silver-plated
GS-13
Operations Officer
Silver-plated
GS-13
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (SBPA)
Silver-plated
GS-13
Border Patrol Stations Patrol Agent in Charge (PAIC)
Oxidized
GS-15 or GS-14
Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge (APAIC)
Oxidized
GS-14 or GS-13
Watch Commander (WC)
Oxidized
GS-14 or GS-13
Special Operations Supervisor (SOS)
Oxidized
GS-13
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (SBPA)
Oxidized
GS-13
Border Patrol Agent (BPA)
No insignia
GL-5, 7, 9, GS-11, 12
Border Patrol Academy Chief Patrol Agent (CPA)
Silver-plated
GS-15
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent (DCPA)
Silver-plated
GS-15
Assistant Chief Patrol Agent (ACPA)
Silver-plated
GS-14
Training Operations Supervisor (TOS)
Oxidized
GS-14
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (Senior Instructor)
Oxidized
GS-13
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent (Instructor)
Oxidized
GS-13
Border Patrol Agent (Detailed Instructor)
Oxidized
GS-11, 12

Border Patrol Shoulder ornaments


Air and Marine Interdiction Agents (OAM)

Air Interdiction Agents[19]

Marine Interdiction Agents[20]

Employee morale


In July 2006, the Office of Personnel Management conducted a survey of federal employees in all 36 federal agencies on job satisfaction and how they felt their respective agency was headed. DHS (which includes CBP) was last or near to last in every category including

  • 36th on the job satisfaction index
  • 35th on the leadership and knowledge management index
  • 36th on the results-oriented performance culture index
  • 33rd on the talent management index

The low scores were attributed to major concerns about basic supervision, management and leadership within DHS. Based on the survey, the primary concerns are about promotion and pay increase based on merit, dealing with poor performance, rewarding creativity and innovation, and the inability of leadership to generate high levels of motivation in the workforce, recognition for doing a good job, lack of satisfaction with various component policies and procedures and lack of information about what is going on with the organization and complaints from the traveling public.[21][22]

In June 2007, CBP Commissioner W. Ralph Basham announced to employees that the agency would be conducting 125 different focus groups in 12 different cities around the country to better understand their concerns as expressed in the Human Capital Survey. The agency is also going to give employees who are not a part of that focus group process an intranet virtual focus group where they can express their views and their concerns. The commissioner stated: "We are looking at this very seriously. We want to hear from the employees, we want to hear from these focus groups, we want to drill down on this survey." As 2011, more than four years after this statement was made, these focus groups have never been reported to have been held, nor have any plans been reported for them to be held in the future.

A November 2007 Government Accountability Office report showed that low staffing, training, and overwork is a large problem within CBP, and an average of 71 officers leave the service every two weeks.[23]

Polygraphing

Two years prior to 2013, the United States Congress mandated that applicants to CBP jobs undergo polygraph testing. The agency polygraphs about 10,000 applicants annually. From the start of the polygraphing until August 16, 2013, over 200 confessions of wrongdoing had been made. Many of the applicants confessed that they had close associations with drug traffickers or that they were directly involved in smuggling of drugs and illegal immigrants. The agency accused ten applicants of using countermeasures. As part of the "Operation Lie Busters", the name of the crackdown on polygraph countermeasures, all ten were not selected for employment.[24]

Equipment

Vehicle Country of Manufacture Type Notes Picture
Ford Explorer  United States K-9
Ford Crown Victoria  Canada Cruiser
Ford Freestyle/Taurus X  United States cruiser
Jeep TJ  United States Utility vehicle
Chevrolet Tahoe / Chevrolet S-10 Blazer  United States Sport utility vehicle
AM General Hummer  United States SUV
Dodge Ram  United States Pickup truck
Ford F-series  United States Pickup truck
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra  United States Pickup truck
Dodge Ram Van  United States Van
Hughes OH-6 Cayuse  United States helicopter
MD Helicopters MD 600  United States Helicopter
Eurocopter AS350  France Light utility helicopter
Bell Helicopters UH-1 Huey  United States Helicopter
UH-60 Blackhawk  United States Heavy utility helicopter
Beechcraft Super King Air  United States Fixed-wing aircraft
Lockheed P-3 Orion - Lockheed P-3 LRT  United States long range patrol
Lockheed P-3 Orion - P-3AEW&C variant  United States Airborne early warning and control
Elbit Hermes 450  Israel UAV
MQ-9 Reaper  United States UAV
Safe Boat International Walk Around Cabin / Safe Boat International RB-S "Defender" Class  United States marine craft

Criticism

National Public Radio's Morning Edition reported that CBP radiation-detection equipment at ports is better at detecting kitty litter than dangerous weapons, and that U.S. borders are so porous that congressional investigators carrying simulated nuclear materials have walked across unchallenged.[25]

In an article entitled "DHS Decision-Making: Competence or Character?", James Giermanski states that the fundamental problem within CBP is that the agency has weak and sometimes flawed management. He says that DHS and CBP suffer from "seriously flawed decision-making", citing the "door only" policy, radio frequency identification technology, and lack of focus on exports which contain bombs.[26]

The agency's practice of performing internal document checks on buses and trains running entirely within U.S. territory has been called "coercive, unconstitutional, and tainted by racial profiling".[27]

The United States Court of International Trade found that CBP improperly classified merchandise when it had untrained chemists testifying before the court. The court found that there were errors in the laboratory reports, that CBP destroyed the evidence, and the tests used by the chemist did not meet any Daubert Factors.[28]

During a federal court case for unlawful removal, CBP and United States Department of Justice attorneys cited the U.S. Supreme Court case of Garcetti v. Ceballos (04-473), which ruled that CBP employees do not have protection from retaliation by CBP managers under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The free speech protections of the First Amendment have long been used to shield whistleblowers from retaliation. In response to the Supreme Court decision of Garcetti v. Ceballos, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 985, the Whistleblower Protection Act of 2007, and the Senate passed its version of the Whistleblower Protection Act (S. 274), which has significant bipartisan support.

Some in Congress, such as Senator Susan Collins (R-ME),[29] have argued that the combined infrastructures of ICE, CIS, and CBP should be merged into one agency called U.S. Border Enforcement Administration(BEA) followed by seven major offices: Office of Investigations, Office of Border Patrol, Office of Air and Marine, Office of Field Operations, Office of Agriculture, Office of Immigration Adjudications, and Office of Deportation and Removal.

Canadian author and marine biologist Peter Watts accused customs officers of assaulting him and throwing him in jail for the night of December 1, 2009 when he was returning to Toronto from the U.S.[30] Watts was tried before a jury and was found guilty of obstructing a federal officer. In April 2010 he was given a suspended sentence, and a fine.[31] However, due to immigration laws,[32] Watts' felony conviction prevents him from re-entering the United States.[33]

See also the criticisms against the United States Border Patrol, a federal law enforcement agency within CBP.

See also

References

External links

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
  • Reports on CBP, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General
  • Office of Field Operations (OFO)
  • Office of Border Patrol (OBP)
  • Office of Air and Marine (OAM)
  • Office of Intelligence and Operations Coordination(OIAC)
  • Automated Commercial Environment (ACE)
  • U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Proposed and finalized federal regulations from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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