/ Modified oct 16, 2018 9:45 a.m.

New Nogales Port Director Says Facial Recognition Will Speed Up Border Crossing

In addition to new technology, 70 customs agents are being trained to head to the Nogales port.

Mike Humphries3 Michael Humphries is sworn in as new Nogales-Area Port Director for Customs and Border Protection, Sept. 27, 2018. (PHOTO: Customs and Border Protection)

LISTEN

Michael Humphries has been climbing the ladder for more than 30 years to become the No. 1 customs agent at the Nogales-area port of entry.

Humphries was officially sworn in last month, but had been the interim director for a year. He says the Mariposa crossing is the most high-tech ground border crossing in the U.S.

Customs and Border Protection says almost every new piece of technology heading to any border is almost always first tested at the Mariposa crossing. The latest — facial recognition technology.

"Right now that technology is working at and being tested at some U.S. airports," says Humphries. He adds, "Before the U.S. spends millions and millions of dollars on new technology, we better be sure it works and it is worth the investment."

Staying up with new technology is one of the new port director's main goals, but Humphries adds that he is old school and that more important, is investing time and resources in his staff.

According to the union that represents customs agents, the six ports of entry in the Nogales area are more than 300 agents short. As a stop gap, 150 agents from around the country have been deployed on 90-day rotations. Humphries says he expects to be able to cut the agent shortage almost in half, with the upcoming academy that will graduate more than 70 new officers that will be sent to Nogales.

Listen to the extended interview with new Customs and Border Protection Area Port Director for Nogales:

LISTEN
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona