CBP emphasizes surveillance along northern border
Customs and Border Protection says it'll likely take a surveillance-heavy approach toward the northern border in the coming years rather than seeking to build out more Border Patrol stations or undertake a concerted program of access road and barrier construction.
In an environmental impact statement released July 27, CBP says over the next 5 to 7 years, it likely will emphasize deploying communications and situational awareness technology along the Canadian border and "to the extent possible" use existing buildings and towers. CBP has jurisdiction to operate up to 100 miles deep into the United States from the border line.
Volume 1 of the impact statement (.pdf) describes its future northern exposure plans as likely consisting of construction of about 400 towers and other infrastructure for sensors and antennas and around 5,200 motorized ground operations per day. Among the technologies CBP could make use of are remote sensors, short-range radar, remote and mobile video surveillance and communications systems, new camera systems, and remote video surveillance systems.
The statement also says CBP wants to hire additional Border Patrol and Office of Air and Marine agents.
Among the reasons for selecting this approach, CBP acknowledges in a decision document (.pdf) summarizing the chosen approach and alternatives, is the "relatively low rate of operations between the [ports of entry] compared to the southern border."
Among the rejected alternatives is an approach that would have called for 100 large construction projects along the border for new Border Patrol stations or major modifications of existing ones and another one that would have required around 20 large road and fence projects greater than a quarter mile.
CBP didn't develop the impact statement in response to a new or specific northern border strategy or initiative, the decision notes. "Rather, it is a planning tool that CBP can use to assess potential impacts as its northern border activities evolve," it states.
- go to a CBP webpage with links to the environmental impact statement and the record of decision
Border Patrol could skirt environmental laws under House bill
Northern Border Strategy says international trade reinforces security
NYCLU decries Border Patrol public transportation raids