Although the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) dramatically expanded trade along the U.S.-Mexico border, heightened security after the events of 9/11/01 has resulted in increased control of commence at U .S. borders. The ISSS Border Technology Deployment Center (BTDC) was created to help expedite the free flow of trade while improve security and safety concerns. Congressional funding, which created the BTDC, was intended to establish a technical resource center, helping governments and industry to modernize the Santa Teresa International Port of Entry (POE) permitting economic expansion in southern New Mexico. The BTDC works to incubate, deploy, integrate, and evaluate border-crossing technologies.
The BTDC currently is involved with deployment of new technologies, non-intrusive truck weighing, vehicle brake performance detection, and the creation of a border training center for the private sector involved with the movement of hazardous materials across the border with Mexico. The BTDC is further working with truck pre-clearance, real-time traveler information, and improved communications systems. Improved means of detecting stolen vehicles, identificaiton of explosives and radioactive materials, identifying contraband in vehicle gas tanks, and reading license plates also are being researched.