CBP Use of Force Training and Actions To Address Use of Force Incidents (Redacted) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General
Following April 2012 media reports regarding the death of an undocumented immigrant while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in May 2010, Senator Robert Menendez and 15 members of Congress requested that we review the use of force within CBP. We reviewed allegations of the use of excessive force by CBP employees and determined what reforms CBP has implemented. We also examined what effect adding more agents and officers to the workforce has had on training and professionalism.
Allegations of employee misconduct that are entered into Department of Homeland Security (DHS) case management systems are assigned one of several case allegation types; however, there is no primary use of force designation. As a result, we were unable to identify the total number of excessive force allegations and investigations involving CBP employees.
The August 2006 to December 2009 workforce surge within CBP did not negatively affect use of force training within CBP. Use of force training remained consistent and funding for use of force training increased at the basic training academies. Pre employment polygraph examinations have improved the quality of the CBP workforce.
CBP has taken several steps to address the number of use of force incidents involving CBP employees and to ensure that agents and officers use force only when necessary and reasonable. All CBP law enforcement agents and officers are required to follow the same use of force policy and standards and complete the same use of force training. CBP tracks all use of force incidents and recently completed an internal review of use of force issues.
However, more can be done. The CBP Office of Training and Development Use of Force Policy Division should incorporate additional assault data into its analysis of use of force incidents and formalize and expand its field audit program. CBP should continue to expand the use of scenario-based training and assess new technologies to support agents and officers.
We are making three recommendations. CBP should work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to implement a method to identify excessive force allegations in its case management system, develop processes to incorporate information regarding assaults on agents that do not result in the use of force into its analysis of use of force incidents, and evaluate and act upon field audit results. The DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) will modify its case management system to identify in greater detail incidents involving excessive use of force allegations.
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Border Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Has Taken Steps to Address GAO’s Recommendations Aimed at Ensuring Officers Are Fully Trained. GAO-13-768R, August 28.
2. Border Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Provides Integrity-Related Training to Its Officers and Agents throughout Their Careers. GAO-13-769R, August 28.
Chart — United States Border Patrol — Total Illegal Alien Apprehensions By Fiscal Year (Oct. 1st through Sept. 30th)
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Intellectual Property Rights: Fiscal Year 2012 Seizure Statistics
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, DHS and its agencies, CBP and ICE, remained vigilant in their commitment to protect American consumers from intellectual property theft as well as enforce the rights of intellectual property rights holders by expanding their efforts to seize infringing goods, leading to 691 arrests, 423 indictments and 334 prosecutions. Counterfeit and pirated goods pose a serious threat to America’s economic vitality, the health and safety of American consumers, and our critical infrastructure and national security. Through coordinated efforts to interdict infringing merchandise, including joint operations, DHS enforced intellectual property rights while facilitating the secure flow of legitimate trade and travel.
In recent years, the internet has fueled explosive growth in the numbers of small packages of counterfeit and pirated goods shipped through express carriers and mail. In FY 2012, we heightened our efforts against the sources of these small shipments: the websites involved in the trafficking of counterfeit and pirated goods. In FY 2012, 697 such sites were taken down by ICE, with CBP handling the forfeitures. The number of IPR seizures remained somewhat consistent from 24,792 in FY 2011 to 22,848 in FY 2012. We believe the strategy of pursuing the sources of counterfeit goods will provide long-term results in decreasing the flow of counterfeit merchandise into commerce.
The MSRP of seized goods increased from $1.11 billion in FY 2011 to $1.26 billion in FY 2012, with an average seizure value of more than $10,450. At the same time, CBP and ICE made valuable advances to enhance their ability to combat IP theft in the future, including:
• Nearly 60 sessions of Integrated IPR Field Training were conducted at high-risk ports of entry to improve frontline enforcement efforts;
• The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 was implemented, allowing for enhanced information-sharing between CBP and trademark holders to identify counterfeits;
• Numerous new authentication tools were procured and deployed to modernize infringement determination efforts and expedite release of authentic shipments;
• IPR Strike Units were created to provide a deterrent effect, aiding the enforcement process;
• The European Police Office (Europol) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission joined the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center). The IPR Center now has 21 domestic and international partner agencies working together to combat IP theft.
CBP Issues Updated Bonded Warehouse Manual
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announces today the release of the updated Bonded Warehouse Manual for Customs and Border Protection Officers and bonded Warehouse Proprietors. Bonded Warehouses provide storage facilities for imported cargo that is pending importation into or exportation from the United States. The Bonded Warehouse Manual was last updated in 1990.
The Bonded Warehouse Manual was developed by CBP to serve as a comprehensive guide to understanding bonded warehouse operations. The publication brings together many different references into one document including laws, regulations, other agency issuances, and rulings dealing with bonded warehouses.
The majority of the manual deals with bonded warehouse operations and procedures, however, information is included regarding centralized examination stations (CES) and container freight stations (CFS).
+ Full Document (PDF)
CBP, ICE Release Report on 2011 Counterfeit Seizures
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Theft of American intellectual property is a serious crime, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced today that their vigorous, ongoing efforts to protect America from the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods during fiscal year 2011 resulted in 24,792 seizures, a 24 percent increase over 2010.
Many fake goods seriously threaten the health and safety of American consumers and our national security. With this in mind, CBP and ICE continued to step up enforcement against these dangerous products resulting in a 44 percent increase in the number of seizures of health and safety products that could have harmed Americans. The value of these seizures soared to more than $60 million due to increases in pharmaceutical and perfume seizures.
Despite the significant increase in the number of seizures, the domestic value for seizures in fiscal year 2011 decreased by five percent to $178.9 million and the manufacturer’s suggested retail price declined slightly to $1.1 billion. This is primarily due to a shift toward using international mail, express courier and consolidated shipping services to import counterfeit and pirated goods.
“The growth of websites selling counterfeit goods directly to consumers is one reason why CBP and ICE have seen a significant increase in the number of seizures at mail and express courier facilities,” said Acting CBP Commissioner David V. Aguilar. “Although these websites may have low prices, what they do not tell consumers is that the true costs to our nation and consumers include lost jobs, stolen business profits, threats to our national security, and a serious risk of injury to consumers.”
+ Full Report (PDF)