Archive for the ‘U.S. Customs and Border Protection’ Category

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations

January 6, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General
From press release (PDF):

After spending eight years and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has yet to prove the value of its Unmanned Aircraft System (drone) program while drastically understating the costs, according to a new report by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG). Based on its findings, OIG recommends that CBP abandon plans to spend $443 million more on additional aircraft and put those funds to better use.

CBP — Use of Force Policy, Guidelines and Procedures Handbook

June 4, 2014 Comments off

Use of Force Policy, Guidelines and Procedures Handbook (PDF)
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A. General Guidelines

1. CBP policy on the use of force by Authorized Officers/Agents is derived from constitutional law, as interpreted by federal courts in cases such as Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989) and Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985), federal statutes and applicable DHS and CBP policies.

2. Authorized Officers/Agents may use “objectively reasonable” force only when it is necessary to carry out their law enforcement duties.

3. The “reasonableness” of a particular use of force is based on the totality of circumstances known by the officer/agent at the time of the use of force and weighs the actions of the officer/agent against the rights of the subject, in light of the circumstances surrounding the event. Reasonableness will be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer/agent on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.

4. The calculus of reasonableness embodies an allowance for the fact that law enforcement officers/agents are often forced to make split-second decisions – in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving – about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.

5. A use of force is “necessary” when it is reasonably required to carry out the Authorized Officer’s/Agent’s law enforcement duties in a given situation, considering the totality of facts and circumstances of such particular situation. A use of deadly force is “necessary” when the officer/agent has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer/agent or to another person.

6. An Authorized Officer/Agent may have to rapidly escalate or de-escalate through use of force options, depending on the totality of facts and circumstances of the particular situation.

7. Based on the totality of circumstances, different officers/agents may have different responses to the same situation, any of which may be both reasonable and necessary. The level of force applied must reflect the totality of circumstances surrounding the situation, including the presence of imminent danger to the officer/agent or others.

8. If feasible, and if to do so would not increase the danger to the officer/agent or others, a verbal warning to submit to the authority of the officer/agent shall be given prior to the use of force. If a particular situation allows for the issuance of a verbal warning, the officer/agent:
a. Should have a reasonable basis to believe that the subject can comprehend and comply with the warning; and
b. Allow sufficient time between the warning and the use of force to give the subject a reasonable opportunity to voluntarily comply with the warning.

9. Following any incident involving the use of force, Authorized Officers/Agents shall seek medical assistance for any person who appears, or claims to be, injured.

See also: DHS OIG — CBP Use of Force Training and Actions To Address Use of Force Incidents (PDF; redacted)

CBP Use of Force Training and Actions To Address Use of Force Incidents (Redacted)

October 4, 2013 Comments off

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 From the GAO

August 28, 2013 Comments off

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)

May 22, 2013 Comments off

Intellectual Property Rights: Fiscal Year 2012 Seizure Statistics

February 13, 2013 Comments off

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

March 21, 2012 Comments off

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)