The southern state of Alabama borders Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and the Gulf of Mexico. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency of the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security maintains ports of entry in three cities that serve as the primary locales for border patrol and customs agent jobs in Alabama: Mobile, Birmingham and Huntsville. Mobile is also a service port.
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CBP statistics are compiled for sectors rather than specific states or cities. Alabama is part of the New Orleans sector that also includes Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.
According to government data, 70 CBP agents were employed in the New Orleans sector in 2011 when a total of 21,444 CBP agents were employed nationwide. This compares with a nationwide figure of only 10,045 agents in the year 2000.
The New Orleans sector was responsible for the apprehension of 1,509 aliens in 2011 as compared with 340,252 apprehensions nationwide.
Alabama Ports of Entry
A port of entry is any place where CBP agents/officers accept merchandize, collect duties and enforce customs and immigration laws. A service port also conducts a full range of cargo processing functions. The primary responsibility of all ports of entry is to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. The dedicated individuals who hold border patrol jobs in Alabama also facilitate lawful trade/travel, interrupt drug and human trafficking, and prevent the entrance of all other illegal persons and goods.
Mobile is Alabama’s only saltwater port. The station there opened in 1927 to prevent the smuggling of aliens into the U.S. via both large seagoing vessels and small boats from Cuba and the West Indies. During WWII, the Mobile service port played an important role in preventing submarine landings of enemy agents and saboteurs along the Gulf Coast. Today the Mobile station border patrol conducts operations for Alabama and the northwest Florida panhandle, including crewman control, transportation checks, smuggling prevention, traffic observation and criminal alien program enforcement.
Border Patrol Job Requirements in Alabama
Border Patrol Jobs in Alabama might include:
- CBP Agent
- CBP Officer
- Marine Interdiction Agent
- Contract Specialist
- Intelligence Specialist
Applicants for CBP agent orofficer jobs must be U.S. citizens under the age of 40 (except for qualified veterans), speak Spanish, hold a valid Alabama driver’s license, and be able to pass fitness and drug tests. Recruits must attend a 58-day “boot camp” in New Mexico where they undergo border patrol training, learn immigration law, practice marksmanship and study Spanish (if needed).
Contract Specialists evaluate and fill purchase orders; solicit, appraise and negotiate merchandise bids; and complete/coordinate contract activities. Applicants must have a relevant bachelor’s degree.
Marine Interdiction Specialists command various vessels to prevent the entry of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, illegal narcotics, and undocumented aliens. They conduct overt and covert operations against terrorist activities and deploy to natural disaster areas when needed.
Intelligence Specialists provide intelligence to combat terrorism, drug trafficking and smuggling. Applicants must have top-secret security clearances as well as experience in law enforcement or military intelligence operations.