Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

December 7, 2005

Bonner on merging CBP and ICE

Filed under: DHS News,Organizational Issues — by Christian Beckner on December 7, 2005

Recently-retired CBP commissioner Robert Bonner tells the Washington Times today that he supports merging CBP and ICE, echoing comments made at some of his farewell events in November.

From the story:

“There is a simple principle — bureaucracy 101 — that applies here: If you want people to work together, you don’t split them into two separate agencies,” said Mr. Bonner, the highest-ranking former official to publicly criticize splitting CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when creating the Department of Homeland Security.

“From my point of view, it is like trying to function with an important part of your anatomy cut off.”

For more on this issue, see the DHS inspector general report on the idea of a CBP-ICE merger released last month, and pages 15-16 of the CSIS-Heritage DHS 2.0 Report from Dec. 2004.

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Pingback by Homeland Security Watch » Blog Archive » GovExec: dampened prospects of a CBP-ICE merger

January 9, 2006 @ 7:49 pm

[…] For the life of me, I can’t figure out who exactly is defending the status quo, and why they’re doing it. Most of the key people in Congress support a merger, as today’s story notes. The DHS Inspector General has written a strong report full of evidence as to why this would be a good idea. Many frontline officials in both agencies have testified to Congress that they think this should be done. The think tank community has supported this idea in publications such as the CSIS/Heritage DHS 2.0 report. (Full disclosure: I participated in the task force that developed that report). Former CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner recently noted his support for the idea. […]


Comment by Jesus Rodrigues

March 13, 2006 @ 6:38 pm

Did you know that aside from separating the uniformed officers (Customs and Border Protection) from plainclothes/detectives (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the Dept. of Homeland Security does not have the statutory authority to investigate terrorism? The FBI took over Legacy U.S. Customs Terrorist Financing investigations (Operation Green Quest) since the FBI has sole jurisdiction on terrorism. Shouldn’t every U.S. agency help on this endeavor. Much like the war on drugs in the 1980s as well as defense contracts and Medicare fraud in the 1990s. It was mainly the FBI’s shortcomings anyway that we had 9/11. Remember one of the memos written by an FBI agent from Minnesotta? They need to re-examine the ICE organizational structure. DHS should listen to the GAO’s and DHS Inspector General’s recommendations in merging back the two agencies, CBP and ICE, under one agency. Now most of the seizures/intel at the border are left without any investigative follow-ups. So much for dismantling criminal and terrorist organizations. Let’s fight terrorism together…

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