What is US Customs and Border Protection?

CBP boasts more than 60,000 employees

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, is the law enforcement agency responsible for overseeing travel and trade into the country to protect against crime and security threats, including terrorism.

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“As the United States’ first unified border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity,” the agency’s website description states.

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CBP, which falls under the umbrella of the Department of Justice, is one of the biggest law enforcement agencies in the world, boasting over 60,000 employees and a budget of more than $13 billion. It is also the “the second-largest revenue-collecting source in the federal government,” according to the government website.

A United States Border Patrol checkpoint near Marfa, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2020. (PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)

The highest-ranking CBP official is Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan, whose title is described by the agency as “senior official performing the duties of the commissioner.”

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CBP’s “core” missions are “counterterrorism, border security and trade enforcement,” the website states.

The agency describes its mission as being to “safeguard America's borders thereby protecting the public from dangerous people and materials while enhancing the Nation's global economic competitiveness by enabling legitimate trade and travel.”

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CBP came under fire in 2019 after a number of detained migrants, including at least five children, died while in its custody.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as an agency of the Department of Justice. It is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

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