Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions

Publication Date: April 2009

Publisher: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service


Research Area: Government



After the massive reorganization of federal agencies precipitated by the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there are now four main federal agencies charged with securing the United States' borders: the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which patrols the border and conducts immigrations, customs, and agricultural inspections at ports of entry; the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which investigates immigrations and customs violations in the interior of the country; the United States Coast Guard, which provides maritime and port security; and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for securing the nation's land, rail, and air transportation networks. This report is meant to serve as a primer on the key federal agencies charged with border security; as such it will briefly describe each agency's role in securing our nation's borders. This report will be updated as needed.