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Beyond the Classroom : MIS Department Representatives Tour U.S. Customs and Border Protection

MIS department reps at the U.S./Mexico border.
MIS Department faculty, staff, and students with Customs and Border Protection personnel at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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April 2009

By Anji Siegel

Faculty, staff, and students from the Management Information Systems department toured Tucson and Nogales Homeland Security facilities

In March, representatives from the MIS department toured the Tucson Sector Customs and Border Protection (CBP) headquarters and the Nogales Border Patrol Station, both of which fall within the Department of Homeland Security.

This tour was coordinated by the Information Assurance and Security Education Center (IASEC) as part of security awareness collaboration efforts with the Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration (COE BSI). The COE BSI is led by Jay Nunamaker, Regents’ Professor and Soldwedel Professor of Management Information Systems.

The tour gave attendees insight to the multifaceted issues surrounding border protection, helping them gain a better understanding of this complex matter to inform their research efforts.

Research at COE BSI focuses on new technologies such as surveillance, screening, data fusion, and situational awareness using sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The center also studies population dynamics, immigration administration and enforcement, operational analysis, control and communications, immigration policy, civic integration and citizenship, border risk management, and international governance.

The Nogales Border Patrol Station is the largest in the United States.  Agents patrol 1,100 square miles of rough terrain, including 32 miles of international border. In February 2009 alone, the Nogales station handled more than 4,000 apprehensions. They seized more than 25,300 pounds of marijuana (valued at more than $20 million), and nearly eight pounds of cocaine. In addition, the station dealt with 45 smuggling cases for the month which included 204 illegal aliens and 74 vehicles.

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