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  3. Border Security

Border Security

Protecting our borders from the illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband, and people, while promoting lawful entry and exit, is essential to homeland security, economic prosperity, and national sovereignty.

America shares 7,000 miles of land border with Canada and Mexico, as well as rivers, lakes and coastal waters around the country. These borders are important economic gateways that account for trillions of dollars in trade and travel each year. They are also home to some of our nation’s largest — and safest — cities and communities.

A top priority for DHS is to keep terrorists and their weapons from entering the U.S. while welcoming all legitimate travelers and commerce. DHS Officers and Agents enforce all applicable U.S. laws, including against illegal immigration, narcotics smuggling, and illegal importation. DHS deploys highly trained law enforcement personnel who apprehend more than 1,000 individuals each day for suspected violations of U.S. laws at and between our ports of entry.

DHS works to secure our borders through personnel, technology, and infrastructure; as well as working closely with Canada and Mexico, and our many federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners.

CBP Border Patrol agents, agriculture specialists, Air and Marine Agents, and Officers guard America’s front lines. These men and women prevent terrorists and their weapons from entering the United States while continuing their mission of seizing contraband and apprehending criminals and others who illegally attempt to enter the United States.

Through increases in Border Patrol staffing; construction of new infrastructure and fencing; use of technology–including sensors, radar, and aerial assets–investments to modernize the ports of entry; and stronger partnerships and information sharing, we are creating a safer, more secure, and more efficient border environment.

More than a million times each day, DHS employees welcome international travelers into the U.S. In screening both foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens, DHS uses a variety of techniques to assure that global tourism remains safe and strong.

Expanding Trusted Traveler Programs increases the ability to quickly facilitate known, low risk "trusted travelers" arriving into the United States. This makes it faster and easier for millions of visitors and business people to cross the border while allowing DHS Officers and Agents additional time to focus on higher risk, unknown travelers.

  • Trade

    International commerce is critical to America’s economy, and the entire world.

  • Measuring Effectiveness

    DHS measures the effectiveness of the border security.

  • Migrant Protection Protocols

    As of 12:01am on August 25, 2021, the processing at ports of entry of individuals who were previously enrolled in MPP has been suspended.

  • Multi-Layered Defense

    Learn more about the programs and initiatives of the DHS’s multi-layered defense strategy for securing U.S. borders and ports.

  • Northern Border Strategy

    The United States and Canada have economic and security interests that rely on safe, secure, and efficient flow of cross-border traffic and securing the border against threats.

  • Protocolos de Protección a Migrantes

    Desde las 12:01am del 25 de agosto de 2021, está suspendido el procesamiento en los puertos de entrada de individuos quienes fueron devueltos a México bajo el programa MPP.  

  • Southern Border and Approaches Campaign

    The Southern Border and Approaches Campaign is a unified approach to improve how the Department protects the homeland across our borders.

  • Trusted Traveler Programs

    Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) provide modified screening for preapproved members, improve security by being more efficient during screenings at ports of entry.

  • Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

    WHTI is the joint Department of State (DOS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to implement a key 9/11 Commission recommendation and the statutory mandates of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA). 

Last Updated: 01/24/2023