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First off, I am pleased to report that all 760 U.S. Customs employees stationed in and around our World Trade Center facility are safe and accounted for.
Within one hour of Tuesday's terrorist attacks, the Customs Service placed all of its personnel and facilities on Level 1 Alert.
This is our highest state of alert, requiring the maximum level of examination of passengers, cargo, and conveyances entering our country.
We are questioning more people, and looking at more goods, than ever before.
In addition to our regular inspection duties at international airports, we have dispatched several hundred trained Customs officers with special inspection skills to augment security checkpoints at major U.S. airports.
Customs remains and will remain at Level 1 Alert until further notice.
At the current time, all of our resources are focused on national security in our skies, and at the airports, border crossings, and ports of entry across America.
Despite our heightened security measures, I want to stress that at no time has the Customs Service closed any of its border operations.
Although there have been delays, U.S. Customs Service continues to process incoming commercial cargo -- and we are working to diminish any delays.
However, we must ask for the public's patience with the longer waits and processing times these security measures may entail.
I think we would all agree they are but a small inconvenience in return for our safety.
At this critical time, I believe it is our shared responsibility - Government, the traveling public, and business - to join together in this unprecedented effort to protect out national security and our American way of life.
U.S. Government Website