Review of CBP and ICE Responses to Recent Incidents of Chinese Human Smuggling in Maritime Cargo Containers (Redacted)   [open pdf - 3MB]

"This review was conducted in response to a request from members of the U.S. Senate's Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House of Representatives' Committee on Homeland Security and Committee on Energy and Commerce. They requested that we review three incidents of Chinese human smuggling in maritime cargo containers to determine what lessons Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) learned from the incidents and what changes, if any, they made as a result of them. In particular, we examined the effects of the incidents upon CBP's Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT), Container Security Initiative (CSI), and U.S. targeting and enforcement procedures, as well as the ICE investigations of the incidents. After the three incidents, CBP and ICE modified their operations to improve the deterrence and detection of Chinese stowaways in maritime cargo containers. CBP broadened C-TPAT minimum-security criteria compliance to its members' non-C-TPAT partners and is negotiating expansion of CSI to ports at which the containers were laded. Domestic port targeting and enforcement measures improved, as well. ICE modified its methods for exchanging information with the Chinese government to facilitate information exchange. However, during our fieldwork ICE and CBP did not reveal to us any formal procedures for coordinating response to incidents of human smuggling at the ports, which may have had a negative effect on the investigation of one of the incidents. We made three recommendations, directing two to CBP and one to CBP and ICE. CBP and ICE concurred with our recommendations, and their actions taken enabled us to close the second and third recommendations. The first recommendation remains open."

Report Number:
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Report No. OIG-07-40
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Department of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/
Media Type:
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