AST Digital Magazine April 2016 - Page 11

1 2 Volume 3 Vitiello: on “Nat’l Security: Threats at our Borders” Along the more than 5,000 miles of land border with Canada and Mexico, and approximately 95,000 miles of shoreline, DHS works with our interagency, and state and local partners to secure our borders and the associated airspace and maritime approaches to protect the United States against terrorist threats and prevent illegal entry of people and goods into the United States while also facilitating lawful trade and travel. The border environment is dynamic and requires adaptation to respond to emerging threats and changing conditions. We appreciate the partnership and support we have received from these Subcommittees, whose commitment to the security of the American people has enabled the continued deployment of resources and capabilities DHS needs to secure the border. Ronald Vitiello, Acting Chief, CBP U.S. Border Patrol Advanced Technology and Capabilities Thanks to the support of Congress, CBP has deployed capable resources to increase our situational awareness, identify changes in the border environment, and rapidly respond, as appropriate, to emerging threats and areas of increasing risk. The use of technology in the border environment is an invaluable force multiplier to increase situational awareness. At and Beyond U.S. Ports of Entry On a typical day, CBP welcomes nearly one million travelers at our air, land, and sea POEs. From 2012 to 2015 the volume of international air travelers increased by 14 percent and is projected to increase 4 to 5 percent each year for the next five years. CBP continues to address the security elements of its mission while meeting the challenge of increasing volumes of travel in air, land, and sea environments. We do this through programs that enable us to assess the risk of passengers from the earliest and furthest possible points, and at each point in the travel continuum. At our POEs, CBP has aggressively deployed NonIntrusive Inspection (NII) and Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) technology to help identify contraband and weapons of mass effect. Prior to September 11, 2001, only 64 largescale NII systems, and not a single RPM, were deployed to our country’s borders. Today CBP has 311 NII systems and Page 10 April 2016 Edition 1,282 RPMs deployed. The result of this investment in resources is the capacity for CBP to scan 99 percent of all containerized cargo at seaports and 100 percent of passenger and cargo vehicles at land borders for radiological and nuclear materials upon arrival in the United States. Because we have advance travel information, CBP has the opportunity to assess passenger risk long before a traveler arrives at a POE. Before an individual travels to the United States, CBP has the opportunity to assess that person’s risk via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization for those traveling under the Visa Waiver Program, or as part of the inter-agency collaborative effort to adjudicate and continuously vet visas. CBP has additional opportunities to assess a traveler’s risk when he or she purchases a ticket and/or makes a reservation and when he or she checks-in. Before an international flight departs for the United States from the foreign point of origin, commercial airlines transmit passenger and crew manifest information to CBP. CBP’s National Targeting Center then reviews traveler information to identify travelers who could be determined to be inadmissible upon arrival. Through its Regional Carrier Liaison Groups and Immigration Advisory and Joint Security Programs, CBP coordinates with the carriers to prevent these travelers from boarding flights bound for the United States. In FY 2015, using these pre-departure programs, CBP prevented 11,611 high-risk travelers from boarding flights. These efforts reduce or eliminate the