Customs and Border Protection held the first ever Citizen's Academy. The newest addition to our team was able to participate in all sorts of hands-on activities alongside actual agents and C.B.P. inspectors. Our Gina Benitez went behind the scenes with several other members of the media. Let's take an inside look at part of her day at the World Trade Bridge.
Alfredo Sanchez III\CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL OFFICER "Here at World Trade Bridge, we process cargo, anything coming through either from other countries from Mexico. We do exports, merchandise that arrives through our inland ports and exiting through the U.S. here in Laredo."
Their main goal is to facilitate trade as smoothly and efficiently as possible, with a minimal amount of time, officials rely on well-trained agents, good instincts and state-of-the-art equipment.
Geraldo Medina\CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL OFFICER "It's just like any normal X-Ray. It lets us see inside the vehicles. In case we see any anomalies, we just go in there and check to see what the anomoly is identified as”
Gina Benitez/REPORTING "Nearly four to five thousand trucks pass through here daily. At the discretion of the customs officials, they may need to pass through secondary inspection.
During secondary inspection officials check out all areas of the truck including the front cabin. They say there is no longer a specific type of smuggler and everyone must be looked at carefully. In another area agriculture specialists are inspecting cargo for any non-native animal species in fruits, vegetables, and wooden material.
Chief David Gonzalez\AGRICULTURE SPECIALIST "We're looking for frass, tunnels, we're looking for any indication that there may be insect activity in there."
If any type of larvae or live insect is found, they thoroughly inspect it to determine what species it is. Infested cargo either gets shipped back to its origin or fumigated. It's a process that goes on here at the world trade bridge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Agents and inspectors are on duty all year round. These are only few of the many steps officials take in securing our borders. I'm Gina Benitez, Pro 8 News.
On Monday find out what was inspected, searched for and seized at bridge two during the second part of training at the citizen's academy.