On February 2, 2013, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a statement detailing the border enforcement efforts employed in 2012. The summary demonstrates the successful results of a historic level of personnel, technology, and resources that have contributed under this Administration. In 2012, CBP continued to respond to illegal cross-border traffic through targeted operations, enhanced partnerships and an effective deployment of personnel, technology and infrastructure along the border, while facilitating legitimate trade and travel. Over the past year, CBP has reduced the barriers for fast efficient and secure travel. This has promoted growth in international trade and has made the industry much safer.
The CBP officers inspected more than 350 million travelers. At air ports of entry alone, CBP officers processed more than 98 million international travelers, an increase of more than 4 percent from fiscal year 2011, and a 12 percent increase since fiscal year 2009. Attempts to cross the border illegally, as measured by U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions, totaled nearly 365,000 nationwide in 2012, representing a nearly 50 percent decrease since 2008 and a 78 percent decrease from their peak in 2000. CBP enrolled more than 414,000 new travelers in the agency’s Trusted Traveler Programs, with membership totaling over 1.5 million people by the end of the fiscal year. At the ports of entry in 2012, CBP officers arrested nearly 7,700 people wanted for serious crimes, including murder, rape, assault and robbery. Officers also stopped nearly 145,000 inadmissible aliens from entering the U.S. through ports of entry.
CBP processed more than $2.3 trillion in trade— a 5 percent increase over 2011— while enforcing U.S. trade laws that protect the economy, health and safety of the American people. CBP processed nearly 25 million cargo containers through the nation’s ports of entry, up about 4 percent from last year. In addition, CBP conducted nearly 23,000 seizures of goods that violate intellectual property rights, with a total retail value of $1.2 billion, representing a 14 percent increase in value over 2011. CBP officers and agents seized more than 4.2 million pounds of narcotics across the country in 2012. In addition, the agency seized more than $100 million in unreported currency through targeted enforcement operations. CBP agriculture specialists conducted more than 1.6 million interceptions of prohibited plant materials, meat, and animal byproducts at ports of entry while also stopping nearly 174,000 potentially dangerous pests. CBP continues to deploy proven, effective surveillance technology tailored to the operational requirements along the highest trafficked areas. CBP’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems flew more than 5,700 hours in FY 2012—a record number of hours for the program— contributing to the seizure of more than 66,000 pounds of narcotics and the apprehension of 143 individuals involved in illicit activities.
CBP opened four new Centers for Excellence and Expertise in 2012. The industry-specific Centers serve as single points of processing for participating importers. They increase uniformity of practices across ports of entry, facilitate the timely resolution of trade compliance issues nationwide, and offer CBP important information on key industry practices to facilitate legitimate trade. These new centers are located in Los Angeles, New York, Detroit, and Houston and support the Electronics; Pharmaceutical; Automotive and Aerospace; and Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Minerals industries.