Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol [Updated November 20, 2008]   [open pdf - 228KB]

This updated CRS report is on the United States Border Patrol (USBP). "Today, the USBP's primary mission is to detect and prevent the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, and illegal aliens into the country, and to interdict drug smugglers and other criminals along the border. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 dissolved the Immigration and Naturalization Service and placed the USBP within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Within DHS, the USBP forms a part of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection under the Directorate of Border and Transportation Security. During the last decade, the USBP has seen its budget and manpower more than triple. This expansion was the direct result of Congressional concerns about illegal immigration and the agency's adoption of 'Prevention Through Deterrence' as its chief operational strategy in 1994. […] Post 9/11, the USBP refocused its strategy on preventing the entry of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction, as laid out in its recently released National Strategy. […] In the course of discharging its duties, the USBP patrols 8,000 miles of American international borders with Mexico and Canada and the coastal waters around Florida and Puerto Rico. […] Some issues for Congress to consider could include the slow rate of integration between the USBP's biometric database of illegal aliens and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) biometric database of criminals and terrorists; the number of unauthorized aliens who die attempting to enter the country each year; the increasing attacks on Border Patrol agents, and the threat posed by terrorists along the sparsely defended northern border as well as the more porous southwest border."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32562
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations