Illegal immigrant apprehensions down, narcotics seizures up
WASHINGTON, DC, MARFA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week released the agency’s fiscal year 2011 summary of CBP enforcement and border management efforts. The Big Bend Border Patrol Sector and the El Paso Field Office, which includes the Presidio port of entry, also released summaries.
“In 2011, CBP has contributed to our nation’s homeland security and economic vitality in ways that are immeasurable,” said Commissioner Alan D. Bersin. “However, these numbers illustrate the fact that this agency has invested significant energy in improving border enforcement, increasing efficiencies and building partnerships, all of which have significantly improved the way of life for all Americans.”
U.S. Border Patrol agents made 340,252 apprehensions in FY2011, down 47 percent over the past three years. Of those apprehended, the Border Patrol apprehended 87,334 people who had a record in the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
The Big Bend Sector apprehended 4,036 people, a decrease of 31 percent from FY2010.
Border Patrol agents also rescued 1,070 people in distress in FY2011.
CBP officers and agents (including Air and Marine and Border Patrol agents) seized nearly five million pounds of narcotics, a 20 percent increase from FY2010, and more than $126 million in undeclared currency.
Big Bend Sector also showed an increase in marijuana seized. In FY2011, they seized 55,743 pounds, an increased of almost six percent over the previous year.
“The men and women of the Big Bend Sector continue to successfully protect our border communities, Texas and the United States,” said Chief Patrol Agent John J. Smietana, Jr. “The statistics only show a small part of our success. The better measurement is the high quality of life in our area.”
At the nation’s ports, CBP agriculture specialists seized more than 1.6 million prohibited plant materials, meat, and animal byproducts; intercepted nearly 183,000 pests at ports of entry and conducted more than 700,000 examinations on cargo containers. Additionally, CBP officers arrested 8,195 people wanted for crimes, including murder, rape, assault, robbery and other crimes. CBP officers and agriculture specialists conducted these enforcement actions while processing approximately 340 million incoming travelers and more than 24.3 million containers, of which 11.5 million containers were processed at seaports, another 10.1 million at land border crossings and 2.6 million at rail crossings.
As a result of CBP pre-departure targeting efforts, more than 3,100 individuals were denied boarding U.S. bound aircraft at foreign airports who would be found inadmissible for national security, insufficient or fraudulent documents and other admissibility concerns.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees from the El Paso Office of Field Operations, which includes the port at Presidio, recorded a number of highlights during the recently completed fiscal year 2011 which began October 1, 2010 and ended September 30, 2011. For example, CBP personnel working at area ports of entry seized in excess of 46 tons of illegal drugs while processing more than 26 million people applying for legal entry to the U.S.
“Our number one priority at El Paso area ports of entry remains homeland security,” said Ana Hinojosa, Director of Field Operation in El Paso. “CBP officers, agricultural specialists, canine teams and support staff are working hard everyday. Their vigilance and commitment to duty are helping maintain the safety and security of our nation. I commend them on their success.”
Along the southern border, Arizona had the greatest number of arrests compared to Texas, California and New Mexico. Texas had the greatest amount of drug seizures of the four border states.
CBP’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems flew more than 4,400 hours in FY2011, the most in the program’s history and 75 percent more than in FY 2010. The UAS program contributed to the seizure of more than 7,600 pounds of narcotics and the apprehension of 467 individuals involved in illicit activities.
CBP’s P-3 aircraft contributed to the national counter-narcotics effort, maintaining a strong presence within the smuggling transit zones. P-3 operations accounted for 62 percent of the Joint Inter Agency Task Force – South detections and resulted in the detection and interception of 169 drug smuggling events throughout the Caribbean Sea, eastern Pacific Ocean and over Central America.
In FY2011, CBP increased the number of Border Patrol agents to 21,444, an increase of 886 agents. By the end of FY2011, the agency employed 20,582 CBP officers, a decrease of 105 officers compared to fiscal year 2010.