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Homeland Security


Land Border Security Systems

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon highlighted the urgent need to reevaluate border security risks as well as the resources needed to secure the nation's borders. With the establishment of DHS, the functions and jurisdiction of several border and security agencies were merged into the Border and Transportation Security Directorate (BTS), which was tasked with securing the nation's borders and safeguarding its transportation infrastructure. Within this directorate, CBP, through its uniformed enforcement services, is responsible for detecting and preventing illegal aliens, terrorists, and contraband from entering into the United States.

CBP officers are responsible for border security at POEs; OBP agents are responsible for border security and control between POEs. OBP, the only federal law enforcement agency policing the nation's land borders, performs this mission by conducting regular land, air, and marine patrols. OBP's statutory authority is outlined in Title 8, United States Code, Section 1357. OBP's strategic plan emphasizes that its top priority is to: "Strengthen U.S. Borders to prevent entry into the United States of terrorist and terrorist weapons, smugglers and illegal aliens, narcotics, and contraband."

In the early 1970s, OBP started using technology to assist its agents in remotely detecting illegal aliens entering the United States along its 4,000 miles of border with Canada and 2,000 miles of border with Mexico. OBP began using seismic and magnetic sensors to provide rudimentary warnings of possible intrusions. While the sensors improved detection capability, they resulted in numerous false alarms.

In the early 1980s, an electronic system was introduced to record sensor alerts. Additionally, low-level light television cameras were installed at several known high-traffic locations. In 1988, the ICAD system was introduced and used by OBP to register sensor activity, track agent response, and record results.

Program Description
America's Shield Initiative An integrated, national web of border security with centralized command designed to gain greater controll of our borders with Canada and Mexico
ISIS Intended to provide continuous monitoring of the borders in all weather conditions
RVS Cameras - both daylight and thermalinfrared, installed on poles and other structures along high volume illegal alien traffic areas of the border
San Diego Border Barrier A Border Barrier Project along the U.S./Mexico border with San Diego County, California and Tijuana, Mexico
U.S.-Mexico Border Fence The construction of hundreds of miles of fencing along the U.S border with Mexico
SBInet a technology-based "virtual fence" across the US-Mexico border.



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