Border Security Update: The Secure Border Initiative
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection?s (CBP) top priority is preventing terrorists and their weapons from entering the United States. While welcoming all legitimate travelers and trade, CPB officers and agents enforce all applicable U.S. laws. CBP prevents narcotics, agricultural pests, and smuggled goods from entering the country and also identifies and arrests those with outstanding criminal warrants. On a typical day last year, CBP officers welcomed 1.2 million people at the nation?s 314 land, air, and sea ports while denying entry to more than 3,000 inadmissible visitors. Announced last year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chertoff, the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) is a comprehensive plan to control US borders and stem the flow of illegal immigration through an integrated mix of increased staffing, more robust interior enforcement, greater investment in detection technology and infrastructure, and enhanced coordination on federal, state, local, and international levels. Last week an addition to border security was announced by DHS called SBInet. The program is designed to be a critical component of the strategy to control U.S. borders. DHS has launched the comprehensive program to field the most effective package of current and next generation technology, infrastructure, staffing and response platforms. The goal is to integrate multiple state-of-the-art systems and traditional security into a single suite within the CBP which will lead and manage it as the executive agent. The Department of Homeland Security announced it has awarded a contract to the Boeing Co. to implement SBInet along the northern and southern borders of the United States in support of the DHS strategic, operational, and tactical decision makers. SBInet will also support a common operations picture and an accurate assessment of the operational environment. It will provide members of the CBP community with the information necessary to support homeland security efforts while unifying collective efforts. The specific SBInet functions include: ? Detect an entry when it occurs. ? Identify what the entry is. ? Classify its level of threat (who the entrant is, what the entrant is doing, how many, etc.). ? Respond effectively and efficiently to the entry, and bring the situation to the appropriate law enforcement resolution. The scope of SBInet will encompass 6,000 miles of border. The initial task order with Boeing will cover 28 miles of the border within the Tucson, Arizona sector and will serve as the prototype for further rollout with a deployment timeline set at eight months. The SBInet solution will be deployed using a homeland security threat-based approach. In the end, innovative technologies such as SBInet will be a tool that will help secure U.S. borders.