Active Collaboration and Clear Communication Are Key to Customs and Borders Protection Strategy

I was fortunate enough to present three speakers at the Customs and Borders Protection Panel on Wednesday, October 11. They included Valarie Neuhart, who previously took on the role of Acting Director of the Office of Trade Relations, Daniel Jordan, a Supervisory Interdiction Agent in the Office of Air and Marines Operations, and Tasha Reid Hippolyte, the Acting Director of the Middle East Division and the Director of the Africa Division in the Office of International Affairs. Before this panel, I knew nothing about the Customs and Borders Protection Agency. After the panel, my eyes were opened to how government agencies work across many different offices within their agencies, outside their agencies with other government departments, and with international leadership to uphold and enforce the laws.


What I learned from this panel is that the CBP works to serve the economy, and that work can affect multiple agencies, ports, borders, and personnel. The resounding message I heard from the panelists is that active collaboration and clear communication across agencies was the best way the CBP produces effective responses to government policy. One of the main topics we have been discussing this week is how to create effective bipartisan policies. The meeting with the CBP helped me understand the most important thing we need in order to come to solutions is establishing a dialogue- a small step that many refuse to take. I believe much of the conflict and anger we see today could be decreased if we actually took the time to try and understand the opposing side’s perspective.


Often times, we desire to think our way is the best way, but the clearest path to less gridlock and partisanship is through thoughtful conversation and effective cooperation. The CBP has allowed me to see what can be accomplished when we put our partisan biases aside and work together to protect and preserve a nation we all love and respect.