U.S. Border Control Multi-Agency Effort, Additional Resources
Added to Stem Illegal Immigration
AZ) (USDHS) – In a first -of- its- kind effort to achieve an even
safer and more secure Southwest border, Department of Homeland
Security Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security
Asa Hutchinson today unveiled the “Arizona Border Control
(ABC) Initiative.” The kick-off event attended by Congressman
Jim Kolbe, U.S. Attorney for Arizona Paul Charlton and dozens
of federal, state and local law enforcement officials, as well
as a delegation from the Government of Mexico was held at the
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Air and Marine
Operations Hangar in Tucson, Ariz.
program supports the priority mission of Homeland Security agencies
to detect and deter terrorist activities and cross-border illegal
trafficking of people and drugs. Additionally, the ABC Initiative
involving hundreds of local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement
officers in Arizona will utilize a cooperative approach enhanced
with additional personnel, technology and aviation assets.
ABC Initiative exemplifies Homeland Security‘s goal to present
one face at the border as we implement joint border operations
with Border Patrol agents and employees from U.S. Customs and
Border Protection (CBP), ICE, Transportation Security Administration
(TSA,) as well as the resources of the Department of the Interior,
the Tohono O’Odham Nation, the United States’ Attorney
Office, Arizona Department of Public Safety and dozens of local
law enforcement agencies,” said Under Secretary Hutchinson.
“By leveraging these resources, we are better able to multiply
the positive effects of this initiative and can use the cutting-edge
of technology to ensure that Arizonans and our nation’s
citizens are safer.”
vehicles (UAVs) will be used to increase border surveillance of
illegal activities. Additional helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft
will also be deployed.
believe the use of UAVs and increased aviation operations will
greatly enhance the capabilities of the more than 200 additionally
deployed Border Patrol agents bringing the Tucson Sector to more
than 2000 strong,” said Under Secretary Hutchinson. “Increasing
the capacity of our detention and removal facilities along with
a focused effort with the government of Mexico to use every available
tool to break the cycle of death to migrants in these dangerous
terrains where smugglers value profits more than human life will
The ABC Initiative
expected to cost in excess of $10 million until the end of FY
’04 follows Operation ICE Storm, a comprehensive Homeland
Security effort to combat and prosecute human smugglers and dismantle
smuggling organizations- with a particular focus in Arizona. Since
October 2003, ICE Storm has resulted in more than 2,059 criminal
and administrative arrests, 162 indictments, as well as the seizure
of 86 assault weapons and nearly $2.5 million. Local police have
credited ICE Storm with a more than 30 percent drop in homicides
in the Phoenix area in the last quarter of 2003, compared to the
same period the previous year.
Sheet: U.S. Land Borders
the security of U.S. citizens and visitors
legitimate travel and trade
* Ensure the
integrity of the immigration system
the privacy of visitors to the U.S.
a top priority for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security because
it enhances security for our citizens and visitors while facilitating
legitimate travel and trade across our borders.
a continuum of security measures that begins before an individual
enters the United States and continues through arrival and departure
from the United States. It incorporates eligibility determinations
made by both the Department of Homeland Security and the Department
such as digital, inkless fingerscans and digital photographs,
the Department of Homeland Security is able to determine whether
the person applying for entry to the United States is the same
person who was issued the visa by the Department of State. Additionally,
the biometric and biographic data are checked against watchlists,
improving the Department of Homeland Security’s ability
to make admissibility decisions as well as the Department of State’s
ability to make visa determinations.
traveler seek to adjust status or extend his/her stay, US-VISIT
would be updated with any modifications to the individual’s
procedures are currently in place at 115 airports and 14 seaports.
This year, US-VISIT will be expanded to the 50 busiest land ports
The law requires
that an automated entry-exit program be implemented at the 50
busiest land ports of entry by December 31, 2004, and at all ports
of entry by December 31, 2005.
The 50 busiest
land ports of entry process 94 percent of the foreign visitors
who enter and exit the United States through land borders. A list
of the 50 busiest land ports of entry can be found in Appendix
applies to most foreign nationals who apply for admission into
the United States pursuant to a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa.
Visitors who are waived visa requirements are not subject to US-VISIT
at this time.
visitors with visas who cross our land borders are referred to
secondary inspection for processing. After January 1, 2005, this
secondary inspection will include US-VISIT processing, collecting
two index fingers scanned on an inkless device and a digital photograph.
This will allow the CBP officer to match the visitor’s information
against the information collected by the Department of State at
visa issuance. We expect US-VISIT procedures will take roughly
10-15 seconds during the secondary inspection process as they
do today at air and sea ports.
TO MEXICAN CITIZENS
of Homeland Security is committed to developing a solution for
the processing of Border Crossing Card (BCC) holders.
citizens who travel to and from the United States regularly may
apply for a multi-use travel document, B1/B2 Visa/BCC also known
as a “laser visa”, which serves as either a BCC or
a B1/B2 visa. Mexican citizens who use the travel document only
as a BCC will not initially be subject to US-VISIT processing
during primary inspection inasmuch as their biometric data (fingerscans
and photographs) is captured during the BCC issuance process.
This is an interim solution for the land border while the Department
explores the long term solution to record the entry and exit of
persons crossing our land ports of entry.
under the BCC program, Mexican citizens may stay in the United
States for up to 72 hours and travel within the “border
zone” (within 25 miles of the border in Texas, California
and New Mexico, and 75 miles of the border in Arizona). Approximately
6.8 million Mexican nationals today utilize a BCC to make approximately
104 million crossings per year when using the card as a BCC card
Prior to issuing
a BCC to a Mexican citizen, the Department of State conducts biographic
and biometric checks on the individual. The fingerscans and photograph
of the Mexican citizen are then embedded into the BCC. A holder
of a BCC is inspected to determine that he or she is the rightful
bearer of the document when crossing through a U.S. port of entry.
As the next
phase of US-VISIT is implemented at southern land ports of entry
by the end of 2004, if a Mexican citizen chooses to use the BCC
as a B1/B2 visa (traveling outside the “border zone”
and/or staying longer than 72 hours in the U.S.), he or she will
undergo US-VISIT processing at the land border secondary inspection
circumstances, Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) officers may have reason to believe the person presenting
the BCC is not the person to whom it was issued. At that point,
the individual would be sent to secondary inspection to determine
if there are any problems with the BCC, which could include running
the BCC through a biometric reader or processing the person through
BCC’s will be deployed at the 50 busiest land ports of entry
by the end of June 2004. The intent in the future is to meld the
BCC biometric check with the US-VISIT biometric database.
TO CANADIAN CITIZENS
Canadian citizens are visa exempt, they are currently not subject
to the US-VISIT process.
who are required to obtain a visa in order to be admitted to the
United States will be enrolled in US-VISIT upon entry.
USING NEW TECHNOLOGIES
of Homeland Security is continuing to work with the U.S. Department
of State, building on the biographic and biometric collection
that is already underway at U.S. consulates around the world.
By October 2004, all 211 visa-issuing posts overseas will be collecting
biometric data from visa applicants.
across the northern and southern borders present a unique challenge.
The Department of Homeland Security is working in partnership
with the private sector to identify the optimum set of solutions
for land border processing.
We are currently
looking at ways to use technology to facilitate travel and collect
entry and exit data. To that end, we are planning to test Radio
Frequency (RF) technology at select primary entry and exit lanes
of the 50 busiest land border crossings. These plans are not part
of the statutory mandate for December 31, 2004.
FACILITATING LEGITIMATE TRAVEL AND TRADE
The land border
solution will be designed to be fast and easy, but also secure.
Both the President of the United States and the United States
Congress mandated that border security enhancements not adversely
affect legitimate travel and trade. The Department is committed
to meeting that mandate.
RESPECTING PRIVACY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
published a Privacy Impact Assessment that ensures that personal
information is used appropriately, protected from misuse and improper
disclosure, and destroyed when no longer needed. This will be
updated as necessary.
will be securely stored and is made available only to authorized
officials and selected law enforcement agencies on a need-to-know
basis to help protect the nation against those who intend harm
to U.S. citizens or visitors and to ensure integrity in our immigration
comply with all environmental laws and regulations.