The U.S. Border Patrol, is federal law enforcement agency under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security that collaborates with the Department of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in order to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the border. When Border Patrol agents locate an illegal immigrant, it is their responsibility to detain the illegal immigrant. Since millions of dollars worth of illegal drugs are smuggled across the border, the Border Patrol is also regularly involved in anti-drug smuggling operations. Because of concerns about terrorism, border patrol agents also participate in various counter terrorism operations. The federal government is always looking for more qualified Border Patrol agents, so demand for these law enforcement professionals will continue to rise.
The Border Patrol today and its mission
The U.S. Border Patrol is the uniformed (and mobile) law enforcement arm of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The U.S. Border Patrol was created in 1924 by Congress to address the growing threat of illegal immigration into the United States. Previously the Bureau of Immigration fulfilled the role of border patrol and immigration monitoring. However, in 1924 the bureau was reorganized into the modern day Border Patrol. The Border Patrol agency was tasked with the responsibility of fighting the war against illegal entry and immigration into the United States as well as the ever growing issue of illegal alien smuggling.
Ever since the United State came under terrorist attack, on September 2001, the primary objective of the U.S. Border Patrol has been the detection, apprehension and/or deterrence of terrorists and the weapons they use to carryout terrorist attacks. Even though the U.S. Border Patrol has evolved since since it was created almost a century ago, its core mission remains the same: to detect and prevent the entry of illegal aliens into the U.S. Together with other federal and state law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Border Patrol facilitates the entry of legal immigration and goods and prevents the illegal trafficking of aliens and contraband.
One of the primary responsibilities of the U.S. Border Patrol is to patrol and monitor the 6,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian international borders and nearly 2,000 miles of coastal waters surrounding the Florida Peninsula as well as the island of Puerto Rico. Border Patrol agents wor around the clock on assignments, in all types of diverse terrains and weather conditions. In addition to working along U.S. borders, border patrol agents also positioned in local communities and cities throughout the United States.
A career as a Border Patrol agent is considered fairly dangerous, when compared with other career choices. Several Border Patrol agents have been injured and even killed in the line of duty. Successful Border Patrol agents are very disciplined and dedicated to ensuring that U.S. citizens remain safe and protected.
Major activities and duties of a Border Patrol agent
One of the most important activities performed by the U.S. Border Patrol (if not the most important activity) is line watch. Line watch entails the detection, prevention and apprehension of illegal aliens, smugglers of aliens, terrorists, and human traffickers at or near U.S. borders by maintaining ongoing surveillance from covert positions, responding to electronic sensor television systems, responding to aircraft sightings, following up leads, and interpreting and following marks, tracks and other physical evidence of related illegal activity. A Border Patrol agent is also tasked with checking and monitoring traffic, farm and ranch checks, traffic observation, city patrol, transportation check, administrative, anti-smuggling activities and even intelligence gathering.
How to apply
The U.S. Border Patrol agent application process is quite easy and straight forward. When the CBP Border Patrol is in the process of recruiting new agents, application and job information will be posted on the CBP.gov website or on the USAJobs.com website. If you interested in applying you can complete the Border Patrol Agent Online Application form at https://cbpmhc.hr-services.org/BPA/.
Foreign language requirements
While you’re not required to speak spanish in order to join the U.S. Border Patrol you will be required to learn Spanish once you’ve been accepted as an agent. You’ll be required to pass a series of Spanish tests in order to maintain your employement with the agency.
The CBP Border Patrol Entrance Examination
The entrance examination for the U.S. Border Patrol career position includes three parts covering logical reasoning, Spanish language (or, if you can’t already speak Spanish, an Artificial Language that will predict your ability to learn Spanish), and an assessment of your past career experience. The test is designed to determine if you’ll have the capacity to learn Spanish and fulfill all your job responsibilities.
Education and Training Requirements
The U.S. Border Patrol has several education requirements, especially for those applicants that do not have highly relevant work experience. Aspiring U.S. Border Patrol agents can earn a bachelor’s or graduate degree to begin their careers at a GS-5 pay grade. Those candidates that are most attractive to the U.S. Border Patrol have completed a bachelor’s degree program and have some related work experience. Degree programs focusing on criminal justice or homeland security are ideal for professionals seeking a career with the U.S. Border Patrol agency. Border Patrol applicants should be younger than 40, possess a current driver’s license, be a U.S. citizen, and have no felonies or Class A misdemeanors convictions on their record. Additionally, they must not have committed a Class b misdemeanor within the previous 10 year period before applying. Candidates must be in good physical shape, and pass an indepth intelligence gathering, and background check.