Customs and border protection guarantees security in a country by prohibiting illegal movement of goods and people into or out of the country but allowing the legal movement of the same. Customs and border protection deals with many issues which will be discussed later in this paper.Lake(2007), notes that the issue of border protection is very important and is a determinant in the security of a country as a whole.

Terrorism is one of the major elements of customs and border protection. The main task of border security is to prevent terrorist attacks by preventing terrorists from entering theUnited States   of Americaor preventing the entry of the terrorist weapons.  Additionally, the customs and border protection is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the illegal drugs as well as the fake products and illegally imported goods do not gain entry into theUnited   States of America. It should also ensure that that the illegal immigrants are apprehended at the border. This means that those that try to enter theUnited   States of Americaillegally they should be caught at the border. The intellectual property of the citizens which includes the copyright should be safeguarded against theft. Various interests such as agricultural should be guarded against destruction. The agricultural specialists ensure that there are no pests being introduced from other countries into theUnited   States of Americawhich could end up lowering the agricultural production.

Information technology deals with the use of telecommunication lines and computers to manage information. Customs and Border Protection involves so many people. This means that there are so many people employed as trade specialists, agricultural specialists, aircraft pilots, border patrol agents, mission support staff and records managers among others. However, though the number of employees is high there are still some incidences of border insecurity. This is because the processes used could be slow, inefficient and also outdated. It is in view of this that I would like to explore how information technology contributes to the making of the Customs and border Protection.

To ensure that the work at the customs and border protection are accomplished faster various programs have been put in place as will be indicated below: first and foremost there is the use of Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) .Through this program all people coming into the United States through the air are screened for risks such as terrorism.

Another program that is used is the US-VISIT. This verifies whether the person’s status as an immigrant or a visitor is correct. There is SEVIS which verifies whether a person is a student or a visitor. There is the Container Security initiative which ensures that there is no potential risk in the container. The contents of the container are checked for any hazardous materials. NEXUS is another program that seeks to ensure that all the people who have been screened before and seen to have no or low risk are later screened separately.

At this juncture I would like to emphasize the need for Information Technology in Customs and Border Protection. It is beyond any reasonable doubt that Information Technology has improved the services at the border due to the following factors:

Unlike the human patrol workforce who suffer and is affected by climate change the information technology infrastructure is highly adaptable. On the same note incase there is a problem somewhere the infrastructure can quickly identify and notify the relevant authorities. The infrastructure also covers a larger area which require so many people to man.

Another thing that makes information technology a good venture in the Customs and Border Protection is that if the infrastructure is in a good working condition the activities are carried out in a fast manner. This can be clearly seen when there is a problem such as a power outage. The operations become very slow as the employees at the border have to do everything manually and this becomes tiring and slow.

The other advantage of information technology is that the machines can be set in places where human beings cannot survive. A good example is that satellites could be set very high up in the sky to monitor a large area all round the clock.

Though the information technology is a good venture it comes with some challenges which are enumerated below: To begin with the I.T infrastructure is highly expensive and as a result it requires a large budgetary allocation. Secondly, the hardware as well as the software become obsolete with time and thus require to be updated with their newer versions after some time. Another major challenge is that the infrastructure relies on electricity and in times of power outages there has to be an alternative source of power or otherwise the operations at the Border will be impaired.

From the above points it is clear that information technology is needed. However, before any program is implemented it is important to consider its convenience, its effects on the workforce, privacy or confidentiality level as well as its costs and benefits. If the cost for acquiring the technology is high than the benefits the organization is bound to get from the same such is an unworthy venture. Secondly, it is important to consider whether the staffs in the organization have the knowledge to work with the infrastructure, if they are not you have to consider whether to train them and who shoulders the costs of the training. Another vital consideration is whether you lay off the employees who do not know how to work with the infrastructure and employ others or you retain the staff and train them.

Additionally it is crucial to consider the privacy of the technology. Most people do not like their information leaking out or being mishandled. It is therefore necessary to ensure that there are no incidences such as eavesdropping or tapping of information along the communication lines.

Government Accountability Office – GAO (2007) states that there are various causes of illegal entries into theUnited   States. It observes the infrastructure, level of knowledge or training, the procedures used in maintaining border security, the infrastructure and the work force can cause the illegal entries. It continues to elaborate the failure by giving examples where the officers at the borders allow vehicles and road user to cross the border without being inspected. This is very risky and the staff at the border should be encouraged to perform their tasks well especially by being promot5ed or given increments according to their performances.

On a concluding note, I would like to note Bodenheimer (2003), who states that it is important to strike a balance between maintaining border security and ensuring that business is taking place. For business to take place there must be movement of goods as well as people. He therefore states that legal, speedy and efficient movement of goods and people is important for the growth of the economy and should not be curtailed or impaired by the border protection efforts. To ensure that border security is maintained and commerce progresses he recommends that information technology should be put in place.














Bodenheimer, D.Z (2003), Technology for border protection: Homeland security funding and priorities referenced at

GAO(2007),GAO identifies border security weaknesses referenced at file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/kkk/Desktop/cust.htm


Lake, J.E (2007) CRS Report on Border Security the Complexity of the Challenge archives/2000/apr042000.x


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