U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Border Security: Despite Progress, Weaknesses in Traveler Inspections Exist at Our Nation's Ports of Entry

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2007
72 pages
The GAO (U.S. Government Accountability Office) reports on its examination of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP's) traveler inspection efforts at the Nation's 326 air, sea, and land ports of entry.
The GAO found that CBP has had some success in identifying inadmissible aliens and other violators; however, weaknesses in its operation increase the risk that terrorists and other inadmissible travelers could enter the country. In 2006, weaknesses were found in inspection procedures, such as not verifying the nationality and admissibility of each traveler. Although CBP took action to address these weaknesses, subsequent followup monitoring conducted by GAO found that identified weaknesses still existed. CBP has not established an internal control that will ensure field office managers share their assessments with CBP headquarters. This would assist in ensuring that new procedures are consistently implemented across all ports of entry. Further, current performance measures do not pertain to CBP effectiveness in apprehending inadmissible aliens and other violators, which is a key CBP strategic goal. GAO's recommendations focus on enhancing internal controls in the inspection process, adopting mechanisms for measuring training proficiency, and implementing a performance measure for apprehending inadmissible aliens and other violators. The Department of Homeland Security has concurred with GAO's recommendations and has reported that CBP is taking steps to implement them. GAO's study reviewed and analyzed CBP data and documents related to inspections, staffing, and training; interviewed managers and officers; observed inspections at eight major air and land ports of entry; and tested inspection controls at eight small land ports of entry. Appended study objectives, scope, and methodology; survey results on CBP's strengths and challenges; and a listing of 67 related GAO products