U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was established in 2003 as part of the Department of Homeland Security to create a single, unified command agency focused on the security of ournation’s borders following the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Now one of the nation’s premier law enforcement agencies with 60,000 dedicated employees, CBP is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks by highlighting the ways its operations have evolved over the past two decades.

CBP published a Frontline article, “A Moment of Tragedy, a Catalyst of Change,” featuring current and former CBP personnel detailing how the efficiencies developed over the past 20 years have put CBP in a better position to stop threats.


The agency has developed and implemented myriad systems for securing the nation’s borders. Among them are Global Entry and Simplified Arrival.


  • Global Entry: Through Trusted Traveler programs like Global Entry, CBP can engage with potential travelers before they travel through an advanced inspection. Global Entry is CBP’s largest Trusted Traveler program, with dedicated kiosks at 76 airports, including all 15 preclearance locations. CBP has received approximately 12 million applications since the program was launched in 2008, and currently has 7.3 million members enrolled, including citizens from 17 partner countries around the world.


  • Simplified Arrival is an enhanced international arrival process that uses facial biometrics to automate the manual document checks that are already required for admission into the United States. Facial biometrics provide travelers with a touchless process that further secures and streamlines international arrivals while fulfilling a longstanding Congressional mandate to biometrically record the entry and exit of non-U.S. citizens. To date, more than 88 million travelers have participated in the biometric facial comparison process at air, land and sea ports of entry. Since September 2018, CBP has leveraged facial biometrics to prevent nearly 870 imposters from illegally entering the United States by using genuine travel documents that were issued to other people.


Read the full media release.

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