Homeland Security: Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security in Balancing its Border Security and Trade Facilitation Missions

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Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Balancing our nation's security and commercial needs is a longstanding issue that is especially important in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that changed the nation's security environment. Addressing this challenge now falls principally to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Border and Transportation Security directorate. Within this directorate, responsibility has been assigned primarily to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP). BCBP consists of the inspections component of the former U.S. Customs Service; the Border Patrol and Inspections component of the ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. June 16, 2003.

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Description

Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Balancing our nation's security and commercial needs is a longstanding issue that is especially important in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that changed the nation's security environment. Addressing this challenge now falls principally to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Border and Transportation Security directorate. Within this directorate, responsibility has been assigned primarily to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP). BCBP consists of the inspections component of the former U.S. Customs Service; the Border Patrol and Inspections component of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, and a former component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Achieving the balance between security and commercial needs is greatly affected by BCBP's commercial and border and immigration control workload. Regarding commercial workload, in fiscal year 2002, the former U.S. Customs Services processed 24.9 million trade import entries valued at over $1.1 trillion and collected $23.8 billion in duties and fees; it also processed about 6 million cargo containers arriving at U.S. sea ports. While the cargo workload has stabilized somewhat as a result of the recent global economic slowdown, it is likely to begin growing again, when an economic recovery is underway at some point in the future, thus exacerbating the challenges BCBP faces. Regarding border and immigration control workload, in fiscal year 2002, inspectors at over 300 ports of entry inspected nearly 450 million travelers while the Border Patrol apprehended nearly 960,000 aliens trying to enter the U.S. illegally between the ports of entry."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 16, 2003

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  • June 10, 2014, 6:42 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. Homeland Security: Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security in Balancing its Border Security and Trade Facilitation Missions, text, June 16, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290329/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.