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Operation Liberty Shield

Release date: 
March 17, 2003
Release Number: 

Operation LIBERTY SHIELD is a comprehensive national plan designed to increase protections for America's citizens and infrastructure while maintaining the free flow of goods and people across our border with minimal disruption to our economy and way of life. Operation LIBERTY SHIELD is a multi-department, multi-agency, national team effort. It includes:



More Patrols - Security has been increased at major U.S. ports and waterways with more Coast Guard patrols by aircraft, ships and boats.

More Escorts of Passenger Ships - The Coast Guard has increased its escorts of ferries and cruise ships.

More Sea Marshals - Every high interest vessel arriving or departing from American ports will have armed Coast Guard Sea Marshals onboard, closely watching the ship's crew and ensuring that it makes its port call safely. These merchant ships have cargoes, crewmember(s), or other characteristics that warrant closer examination.

Selective Maritime Restrictions - The Coast Guard will enforce security zones in and around critical infrastructure sites in key ports. This information will be published and announced for those using U.S. waterways.

Land Borders

Increasing Border Surveillance - Surveillance and monitoring of the borders will be increased with more agents and patrol assets. These forces will cover areas between major ports of entry.

Increased Border Screening - Customs and Border Protection officers will increase screenings of vehicles and cargo crossing our land borders. Officers will conduct more interviews and detailed screenings as people transit in and out of the U.S. The actions at land borders are not expected to significantly impact the movement of people and cargo across the border.

Asylum Modifications

Asylum Detainees - Asylum applicants from nations where al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda sympathizers, and other terrorist groups are known to have operated will be detained for the duration of their processing period. This reasonable and prudent temporary action allows authorities to maintain contact with asylum seekers while we determine the validity of their claim. DHS and the Department of State will coordinate exceptions to this policy.

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Increasing Airport Security - The Transportation Security Agency will implement airport security measures that are proactive, sustainable, and focused, based on intelligence information. One of the most visible changes will be increasing the presence of law enforcement officers on patrol and in airport facilities.

Checking Airport IDs - TSA has advised air carriers to review and ensure the validity of all personnel ID's for those who have a...

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:54