For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Washington, D.C. — Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to El Paso, Texas, to visit the Bridge of the Americas at the El Paso Port of Entry, meet with El Paso business leaders and border mayors, and highlight how the Department of Homeland Security's unprecedented efforts to strengthen border security have facilitated trade and travel along the Southwest border.
"The Obama administration is committed to fostering a secure and prosperous border region," said Secretary Napolitano. "I'm proud to join with local leaders on the ground to get the message out that the border is open for business."
During the visit and meeting with local business leaders, Secretary Napolitano was joined by Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan Bersin and El Paso Mayor John Cook, as well as Mayor Arturo Garino of Nogales and Mayor Al Kreiger of Yuma, Ariz., who reiterated their shared commitment to strengthening security and economic growth in the border region. The business leaders discussed their ideas on ways to further facilitate commerce along the Southwest border and underscored the importance of combating misperceptions about the safety and security of border communities in order to grow the region's economy.
The Obama administration has made great strides in ensuring that legal trade and travel flows across the border as quickly as possible—working with local leaders to update infrastructure and reduce wait times at our Southwest border ports of entry while increasing security. More than 1,700 private-sector partners in Mexico are enrolled in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) trusted-shipper program, and CBP is deploying 250 new officers to ports along the border as a result of the FY 2010 Border Security Supplemental.
These unprecedented investments have yielded real results, with import values for CBP's El Paso Field Office increasing 40 percent from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2010, as well as a 22 percent increase in the total value of imports crossing the Southwest border into the United States during that same period.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.