Coast Guard and Border Patrol Sign Cooperation Agreement

Wednesday, December 05, 2007
The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Border Patrol signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation as part of the recently formed Caribbean Border Interagency Group (CBIG). Ramey Sector Border Patrol Chief Michael DeBruhl and the Commander of U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan, Capt. James E. Tunstall, signed the cooperation agreement in a ceremony held at the Coast Guard's Sector San Juan Headquarters. The agreement calls for the permanent assignment of Border Patrol Intelligence agents within the Coast Guard's Sector San Juan Operations Center located in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. This collaboration will immediately improve overall intelligence services, intelligence gathering, and allow the Border Patrol to more efficiently support the Coast Guard's biometrics-at-sea program.

The concept of CBIG resulted from a March 2006 collaboration of local Homeland Security components that effectively stemmed the increased flow of traffic across the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. In July 2006, CBIG was formally created to unify efforts of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air & Marine (A&M), Office of Field Operations (OFO), and Office of Border Patrol (OBP), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the United States Attorney ' s Office, District of Puerto Rico, in their common goal of securing Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against illegal maritime traffic and gaining control of our nation's Caribbean borders.

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