Safeguarding the U.S. border, primarily the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has become a contentious issue as many Central American migrants seek asylum in the United States.
A battle between President Donald J. Trump and Democratic lawmakers over funding for a southern border wall has led to a government shutdown. Meanwhile, the deployment of active-duty troops to the southern border reflects a growing militarization of the area, though their role is constrained by U.S. law.
Who is responsible for U.S. border security?
Securing the borders primarily falls to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Alongside agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), CBP is responsible for overseeing trade and travel in and out of the country.
Its duties include preventing criminals, would-be terrorists, and contraband from entry. CBP’s work includes inspecting immigrants and cargo at ports of entry, patrolling thousands of miles of border to the country’s north and south, and helping investigate criminal networks. Of CBP’s more than sixty thousand employees, about one third are Border Patrol agents, who exclusively work between ports of entry. Read More