On January 2, Customs Director Tayra Barsallo announced a proposal for a special force to control border posts. Set up in conjunction with the National Immigration Service, the job of the new task force will be to prevent illegal goods smuggling. However, the bill has yet to be presented to the Assembly for adoption.
The new force will resemble the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), made up of inspectors authorized to randomly check all goods coming into the country. Although the measure was proposed by earlier government administrations, it was never implemented.
According to Barsallo, the new force will be posted at border checkpoints to inspect both goods and the immigration status of people crossing the border. “It’s not a police force as such, but a group of inspectors authorized to check people’s migratory status and merchandise,” the official explained.