Border and Transportation Security: Overview of Congressional Issues [December 17, 2004]   [open pdf - 112KB]

"Enhancing border and transportation security (BTS) are essential strategies for improving and maintaining homeland security.The effective implementation of border and transportation security measures requires the participation of numerous agencies. Federal responsibility for border and transportation security efforts is primarily contained within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS's Border and Transportation Security Directorate houses: the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which has responsibility for security at and between ports-of-entry along the border; the Bureau of Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), which has responsibility for investigating and enforcing the nation's customs and immigration laws; and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for the security of the nation's transportation systems. The U.S. Coast Guard is a stand-alone agency within DHS, and has primary responsibility for the maritime components of homeland security (U.S. ports, coastal and inland waterways, and territorial waters). DHS's Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau (USCIS) is charged with approving immigrant petitions. In addition, the Department of State's (DOS) Bureau of Consular Affairs is responsible for issuing visas; and the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has a significant policy role through its adjudicatory decisions on specific immigration cases. This report provides a summary of the roles and responsibilities of various federal agencies engaged in border and transportation security activities; describes selected concepts and terms prominent in border and transportation security debates; and discusses selected issues that might be of interest to the 109th Congress. These issues include immigration-related border security issues; cargo security issues; aviation and non-aviation transportation security; and maritime security issues. This report will be updated as significant developments occur. An appendix contains summaries of the following: key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission affecting border and transportation security; similar provisions in the recently enacted Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004, and Homeland Security Presidential Directive 11 (HSPD-11)."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32705
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