March 2nd, 2008 12:33 EST
Fact Sheet: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement
Each day at America’s ports of entry CBP officers inspect more than 1.1 million travelers, including 340,000 vehicles and over 85,000 shipments of goods approved for entry; process more than 70,000 truck, rail and sea containers; collect more than $88 million in fees, duties, and tariffs; seize more than 5,500 pounds in illegal narcotics; and intercept more than 4,400 agricultural items and pests at ports of entry.Securing the Border
- DHS has completed more than 167 miles of pedestrian fence and 134 miles of vehicle fence on the southwest border, for a total of approximately 302 miles.
- We are on track to have 670 miles of total pedestrian fence and vehicle fence by the end of 2008.
- The Border Patrol now has more than 15,000 agents and by the end of this year we will have more than 18,300 agents. This doubles the size of the Border Patrol over the FY 2001 level.
- We are committed to using technology along the border in connection with tactical infrastructure, where Border Patrol deems necessary. Some technology currently used includes: unattended ground sensors, truck-mounted mobile surveillance systems, remote video surveillance systems, unmanned aerial systems, and fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft to detect, classify, track and respond to illegal border crossings.
- The National Guard continues to support the Border Patrol under Operation Jump Start. This partnership has been extremely productive as we work to the build the fence and train Border Patrol agents.
- DHS saw a more than 20 percent reduction in apprehensions of illegal aliens at the southern border in Fiscal Year 2007. This is an indication that there are fewer attempts to cross the border illegally.
- In Fiscal Year 2007, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested 3,563 gang members and their associates. This includes 1,489 criminal arrests.
- Under Operation Community Shield ICE has arrested more than 8,000 members and associates of approximately 700 different gangs. Of those apprehended, 2,444 have been charged criminally and 5,211 have been charged with immigration violations and processed for removal.
- Over a three month period last summer ICE arrested more than 1,300 violent street gang members and associates in 23 cities across 19 states.
- ICE has expanded its Criminal Alien Program to identify incarcerated criminal aliens. In Fiscal Year 2007, ICE identified for removal more than 164,000 criminals who were incarcerated in federal, state and local facilities.
- ICE has increased its fugitive operations teams from 15 in 2005 to 75 today with an additional 29 allocated for Fiscal Year 2008. As a result, the fugitive alien population has plummeted by more than 35,000. Fugitive Operations Teams made more than 30,000 arrests in 2007, nearly doubling Fiscal Year 2006 arrests.
- ICE continues to increase worksite enforcement operations. In Fiscal Year 2007, ICE made 863 criminal arrests and 4,077 administrative arrests for a total of 4,940 arrests.
- In Fiscal Year 2007, DHS obtained more than $30 million in criminal fines, restitutions and civil judgments as a result of worksite enforcement.
- E-Verify is a free and simple to use Web-based system that electronically verifies the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. For more information on E-Verify visit www.dhs.gov/E-Verify.
- E-Verify works by allowing participating employers to electronically compare employee information taken from the Form I-9 (the paper based employee eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against more than 425 million records in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) database and more than 60 million records in DHS immigration databases. Results are returned within seconds.
- Currently, more than 54,000 employers in every state are enrolled in E-Verify and, on average, the program increases by about 1,000 new employers each week. The system is currently capable of handling up to 25 million inquiries a year.
- DHS issued a regulation earlier last year which outlines specific steps an employer should take if they receive a “no-match” letter from the SSA informing them they have an employee whose name and Social Security Number do not match the government records.
- The regulation sets forth clear guidance for businesses to comply with “no-match” notices and provides a safe harbor for employers who follow the guidance and perform due diligence so they are not found in violation of their legal obligations.
- The implementation of this regulation has been delayed to lawsuits filed by the ACLU and U.S. Chamber of Commerce preventing DHS from issuing “no-match” letters.
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary