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CBP Acting Commissioner Morgan addresses November border issues

 

December 13, 2019



Note: This information was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan held a press conference in Washington, D.C., Monday to highlight some of the border issues and give up-to-date statistics through November.

“The numbers of illegal migrants along the Southwest border declined for the sixth straight month — proving that the President’s strategy to address the historic flood of Central American families illegally crossing the border — along with the efforts of the men and women of CBP — has worked, and continues to work.

This, along with CBP’s border interdictions of illicit narcotics deliver a strong message to cartels and transnational criminal organizations that try to take advantage of the National Security and Humanitarian Crisis along the Southwest border.

“Our message is this: President Trump and the dedicated men and women of CBP will not stop protecting this border — we will relentlessly protect this country from illegal crossings and the smuggling of migrants and dangerous drugs into our communities,” Morgan said.

Total enforcement actions in November numbered 42,649 — a decline of 6 percent from October — and recent domestic policy initiatives and international agreements have resulted in a decrease of more than 70 percent since the height of the crisis in May.

In addition to illegal immigration, CBP remains focused on stopping illegal narcotics from entering the country. Drugs continue to threaten the very fabric of every community in the country.

Nationwide, in November, CBP officers and Border Patrol agents intercepted more than 82,100 pounds of drugs, a 32 percent increase over October.  On top of that, the Air and Marine Operations supported the seizure of nearly 584 pounds of drugs with non-CBP agencies.

Transnational Criminal Organizations, TCOs, and cartels operating in Mexico are the principal suppliers of heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana to the United States. They smuggle these drugs across the borders and distribute them to a vast U.S. drug market — they also use Mexico as a transit country for fentanyl and cocaine into the U.S.

Meanwhile, methamphetamine seizures have been climbing dramatically for over five years, commensurate with the alarming increase in stimulant-related overdose deaths in the U.S.

”We are also working with our Canadian and Mexican counterparts daily to combat the flow of illicit drugs, money and weapons that support these TCOs — joining our efforts on intelligence and targeting capabilities to help take down illicit drug labs and disrupt the flow of narcotics on both sides of the border” stated Commissioner Morgan said.

Havre Sector Chief Patrol Agent Sean McGoffin emphasized how smuggling organizations exploit people and their families. Smuggling is a multibillion dollar industry that enriches dangerous cartels who destabilize countries and limit economic growth. Smugglers financially extort family members of smuggled aliens, and often threaten them with physical violence. Smugglers endanger the lives of migrants and view them as commodities.

In a recent event in Havre Sector, where 19 people were arrested in a smuggling incident, Josue Bermudez-Lopez, 26, admitted he illegally transported aliens for compensation. Bermudez-Lopez faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.  The other defendants pleaded not guilty and remain detained pending further proceedings.

In Fiscal Year 2019 the Border Patrol rescued 4,900 people, many perished while being led on dangerous smuggling routes through the U.S., or experienced violence during their journeys to the border. Smugglers continually try to exploit different areas of the border.  It is necessary to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement to help keep our country safe.

Border Patrol urges people considering the journey to the U.S to do so lawfully and not to put their money or lives into the hands of dangerous smugglers.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection welcomes assistance from the community. Individuals can report suspicious activity to Border Patrol by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT — 1-800-232-5378. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.

 

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