This office was responsible for admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the United States and for implementing national immigration policy. A "head tax" of fifty cents was collected on each immigrant. In the early 20th century Congress 's primary interest in immigration was protecting American workers and wages — the reason it had become a federal concern in the first place.
This made immigration more a matter of commerce than revenue; hence, in , Congress transferred the Bureau of Immigration to the newly created Department of Commerce and Labor.
After World War I , Congress attempted to stem the flow of immigrants, still mainly coming from Europe, by passing laws in and limiting the number of newcomers by assigning a quota to each nationality based upon its representation in previous U.
Each year, the U. State Department issued a limited number of visas ; only those immigrants who had obtained them and could present valid visas were permitted entry.
This transformation was led by former Commissioner Robert C. Bush on June 6, He had also served as the chief of staff for the Transportation Security Administration. It is the largest federal law enforcement agency that works closely with U. In , the U. Border Patrol with immediate tactical and emergency response assets. CBP officers  are federal law enforcement officers in the largest CBP Office of Field Operations empowered to exercise the authority and perform the duties provided by law and Department of Homeland Security regulations, including making arrests, conducting searches, making seizures, bearing firearms, and serving any order or warrant.
CBP officers have full law enforcement powers on and off duty. CBP officers defend against terrorist intrusion by identifying high risk individuals who are attempting to enter into the United States; stop criminal activities — such as drug trafficking , child pornography including on computers, cell phones, and other electronic media , weapons trafficking , and money laundering — by inspecting vehicles and trucks; and prevent the illegal entry of individuals, the smuggling of prohibited goods, and other customs and immigration violations.
In accordance with Public Law , CBP officers are covered under special law enforcement retirement, and all candidates must be referred for selection for this position before reaching their 40th birthday.
Those candidates selected for duty locations requiring Spanish may receive an additional 6 weeks of Spanish Language training. After a few years of service, qualified Officers may serve on CBP's Special Response Team after passing a pre-test and an additional five weeks of paid training at the U.
CBP Officers may begin their careers in any region for which they apply. The duty region is selected during the application phase. Proficiency in Spanish is a duty requirement only for those stationed along southern border regions, although it is not a requirement before being hired.
CBP Officers stationed along southern border regions will undergo Spanish language training before coming on duty. The CBP Officer position is categorized as a "critical-sensitive" position in law enforcement. For this reason, officer candidates must undergo a single scope background investigation SSBI before being appointed.
In addition, officer candidates must undergo drug and medical examination, polygraph examination, two physical fitness tests, a video based test, and structured interview during the pre-appointment phase.
CBP Agriculture Specialists  receive 11 weeks of paid training at the Professional Development Center in Frederick, Maryland as well as a post-academy training phase that varies in length according to their assigned port. Agriculture Specialists are stationed at international ports of entry located at airports, seaports, and land borders throughout the U. They are uniformed federal officers with the authority to conduct random inspections of luggage or items entering the country and the power to seize prohibited or contaminated items.
They serve as expert and technical consultants in the areas of inspection, intelligence, analysis, examination and law enforcement activities related to the importation of agricultural and commercial commodities and conveyances at the various ports of entry. Agriculture Specialists apply a wide range of federal, state and local laws and agency regulations, including those of the U. They participate in special enforcement, targeting, and analysis teams charged with collecting and analyzing information and identifying high-risk targets; or conducting visual and physical inspections of cargo, conveyances or passenger baggage.
The Agriculture Specialist plans, conducts, and supervises remedial actions such as treating, disinfecting and decontaminating prohibited commodities, conveyances, contaminants or agricultural materials.
The Agriculture Specialist position is categorized as a "sensitive" position in law enforcement and may be granted up to the "Secret" level security clearance. Candidates must undergo a single scope background investigation and a polygraph examination before being appointed.
In addition, the candidates must undergo a video based interview as well as a drug and medical examination during the pre-appointment phase.
Import Specialists  interact with both importers and exporters and are responsible for decisions regarding a staggering variety of merchandise, manufactured goods, and commodities. Import Specialists  work side by side with law enforcement officers and legal professionals. They determine which products may legally enter the country by enforcing laws protecting public health and safety, intellectual property rights and fair trade practices.
They may also play a key role in criminal enforcement team investigations of smuggling, commercial fraud, and counterfeiting. Import Specialists have the authority to issue penalties and fines, to seize prohibited or suspect cargo and to participate in negotiations and legal prosecution.
Occasionally, Import Specialists may be given short-term assignments overseas as part of a multi-agency team. Responsibilities could include investigating foreign manufacturing facilities for violations involving child labor, product safety or other areas of concern to the U.
Seven weeks of paid specialized training enable Import Specialists to develop an expert knowledge of import and export trends, commodities, and industries, as well as complex international trade agreements. CBP Import Specialists perform their mission at more than ports of entry located at airports, seaports and land borders throughout the United States and along the Canadian and Mexican borders.
Border Patrol Agent  as opposed to Officer is a federal law enforcement agent actively patrolling a U. Agents detect and prevent the smuggling and unlawful entry of aliens into the United States, along with apprehending those people found to be in violation of immigration laws.
Agents work to lower crime and improve the quality of life in border communities. More than 20, Border Patrol Agents safeguard nearly 6, miles of land border the United States shares with Canada and Mexico, and more than 2, miles of coastal waters. This involves the detection, prevention and apprehension of terrorists , illegal aliens and smugglers of both aliens and contraband at or near the land border by maintaining surveillance from a covert position, following up leads, responding to electronic sensor systems, aircraft sightings, and interpreting and following tracks, marks and other physical evidence.
Some of the major activities are farm and ranch check, traffic check, traffic observation, city patrol, transportation check, administrative, intelligence, and anti-smuggling activities. All agents complete a week paid "Basic Academy" training at the U. Training includes such topics as immigration and nationality laws, physical training PT , weapons and marksmanship. For those needing Spanish language instruction, an additional 8 weeks may be required beyond the 65 days of Basic Academy training.
Border Patrol Agents must be willing to work overtime and varying shifts under arduous conditions, and be proficient in the carry and use of firearms. They may also be sent on temporary assignments on short notice, or on permanent reassignments to any duty location.
All new agents begin their careers along the Southwest border, where a working knowledge of Spanish is required. AMO is the world's largest civilian aviation and maritime law enforcement organization. Air and Marine Interdiction Agents are endowed with the authority to enforce Title 8 Aliens and Nationality and Title 19 Customs of the United States Code in addition to the general law enforcement powers bestowed upon federal law enforcement agents.
This specialized law enforcement capability allows AMO to make significant contributions to the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security, as well as to those of other federal, state, local, and tribal agencies. To accomplish its mission, AMO employs over 1, Federal Agents at 70 locations, operating more than aircraft of 26 different types, and approximately maritime vessels.
It is one of the major operational components within U. In July , the Office of Personnel Management conducted a survey of federal employees in all 36 federal agencies on job satisfaction and how they felt their respective agency was headed. The low scores were attributed to major concerns about basic supervision, management and leadership within DHS. Based on the survey, the primary concerns are about promotion and pay increase based on merit, dealing with poor performance, rewarding creativity and innovation, and the inability of leadership to generate high levels of motivation in the workforce, recognition for doing a good job, lack of satisfaction with various component policies and procedures and lack of information about what is going on with the organization and complaints from the traveling public.
Ralph Basham announced to employees that the agency would be conducting different focus groups in 12 different cities around the country to better understand their concerns as expressed in the Human Capital Survey. The agency is also going to give employees who are not a part of that focus group process an intranet virtual focus group where they can express their views and their concerns. We want to hear from the employees, we want to hear from these focus groups, we want to drill down on this survey.
A November Government Accountability Office report showed that low staffing, training, and overwork is a large problem within CBP, and an average of 71 officers leave the service every two weeks. The agency polygraphs about 10, applicants annually. From the start of the polygraphing until August 16, , over confessions of wrongdoing had been made. Many of the applicants confessed that they had close associations with drug traffickers or that they were directly involved in smuggling of drugs and illegal immigrants.
The agency accused ten applicants of using countermeasures. As part of the "Operation Lie Busters", the name of the crackdown on polygraph countermeasures, all ten were not selected for employment. It can contain as many as 13 rounds of ammunition 12 in the magazine and one in the chamber.
Like many other law enforcement agencies, the 12 gauge Remington Model is the standard pump-action shotgun. National Public Radio 's Morning Edition reported that CBP radiation-detection equipment at ports is better at detecting kitty litter than dangerous weapons, and that U. He says that DHS and CBP suffer from "seriously flawed decision-making", citing the "door only" policy, radio frequency identification technology, and lack of focus on exports which contain bombs.
The agency's practice of performing internal document checks on buses and trains running entirely within U. The United States Court of International Trade found that CBP improperly classified merchandise when it had untrained chemists testifying before the court. The court found that there were errors in the laboratory reports, that CBP destroyed the evidence, and the tests used by the chemist did not meet any Daubert standards.
Supreme Court case of Garcetti v. The free speech protections of the First Amendment have long been used to shield whistleblowers from retaliation.
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