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U.S. Customs and Border Protection rings NYSE bell

U.S. Customs and Border Protection rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The government agency's port director, Susan Mitchell, did the honors.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent stands at the border fence in Nogales, Ariz.
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A U.S. Border Patrol agent stands at the border fence in Nogales, Ariz.

As a part of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade, managing the country's borders, customs, immigration and agricultural protection, according to a press release.

The agency enforces hundreds of laws and regulations, and on a typical day, it welcomes nearly a million visitors, screens more than 67,000 cargo containers, arrests more than 1,100 individuals and seizes nearly 6 tons of illicit drugs, according to government estimates.

The organization has more than 60,000 employees, making it one of the world's largest law enforcement entities, the agency said.