The Technology Role by Jim Ryan
While the political discussions that focus on how to secure America’s borders rage on without a clear resolution regarding what or how policies and procedures could change, one element of the discussion remains clear and present–that technology must and will play an ever more significant role at the U.S. border.
The job of managing daily border crossings includes screening vehicles, pedestrian traffic and fleets of trucks for contraband like cash, weapons and drugs at a speed that protects U.S. citizens as well as the half a trillion dollars in annual trade between the United States and Mexico. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) screens between half a million and a million pedestrians and 400,000 vehicles through 330 ports of entry across 2,000 miles every day.
It is a daunting task where the stakes are high with an average of 130 Americans daily falling prey to an opioid epidemic that is now being fed by synthetic opioids like fentanyl that can be fatal in very small doses. CBP officers and law enforcement officers risk their lives and risk exposure to these substances daily in order to perform their jobs. But new technologies and new developments in technology could change all of that.
Technology at the border is good news for the good guys and bad news for the bad guys.