If you are like a lot of people in New York, you may at times get confused between the various federal agencies that may be involved in immigration activities. There is the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office but there is also the United States Customs and Border Patrol. While these two entities may work together, they are separate and have distinct purposes. Interactions with either may involve or contribute to federal criminal charges.
As explained by the U.S. CBP, their mission is to keep the nation safe from what they refer to as “dangerous people” who might be trying to get into the country. The agency’s officers may be part of special response teams, horse patrols or K-9 inspections. The agency oversees not only the 328 direct ports of entry but a variety of preclearance locations as well. They have the authority to apprehend, detain and arrest individuals.
The U.S. CBP is supposed to help enforce and uphold the agriculture, immigration and customs laws of the United States. They may be watching for evidence of illegal trafficking of immigrants, materials identified as contraband or of substances like illegal drugs. Terrorism and counterterrorism may also be involved in the work that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol does at different times.
This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give people in New York some overview about the full scope of the domain of the United States Customs and Border Patrol force may be.