Testimony of Michael J. Fisher, Chief, United States Border Patrol, Michael Kostelnik, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Air and Marine, Mark S. Borkowski, Assistant Commissioner, Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, before House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, March 15, 2011   [open pdf - 39KB]

"As America's frontline border agency, CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Control' is responsible for securing America's borders against threats, while facilitating legal travel and trade. To do this, CBP has deployed a multilayered, risk-based approach to enhance the security of our borders while facilitating the flow of lawful people and goods entering the United States. This layered approach to security reduces our reliance on any single point or program that could be compromised. It also extends our zone of security outward, ensuring that our physical border is not the first or last line of defense, but one of many. [...] Over the past two years, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has dedicated historic levels of personnel, technology, and resources to the Southwest border. In March 2009, DHS launched the Southwest Border Initiative to bring unprecedented focus and intensity to Southwest border security, coupled with a smart and effective approach to enforcing immigration laws in the interior of our country. We increased the size of the Border Patrol to more than 20,700 agents today, more than double the size it was in 2004. DHS also quintupled deployments of Border Liaison Officers to work with their Mexican counterparts; and began screening southbound rail and vehicle traffic to look for illegal weapons and cash that, when smuggled across the border, help to fuel the cartel violence in Mexico."

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