The state of Arkansas covers over 53,000 miles with much of this being agricultural land. It is mostly land-locked with Oklahoma and Texas to the West, Louisiana to the South, and Missouri on the North. The Mississippi River runs across the Eastern border of the state, marking the borders of Tennessee, Missouri, and Mississippi.
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Although there are Customs agents in Fayetteville, Rogers, and Pine Bluff, the primary Border Patrol Station is located in Little Rock, which is the hub of all commercial and private traffic through the state.
A large number of undocumented Mexican laborers flooded the state in the early 1950s, leading to the establishment of the Little Rock Border Patrol Station. Part of the New Orleans sector, this station is responsible for border patrol operations throughout all of Arkansas. Customs Officials from Little Rock also assist with operations in Tennessee when concerns arise.
The Role of U.S. Customs Agents in Arkansas
The jobs of U.S. Customs agents in Arkansas involve a number of different efforts that help to protect the American public from the intrusions of those who would enter the country illegally or bring in contraband such as drugs or other items. One of the prime directives of the Department of Homeland Security is to intercept potential terrorists who try to enter the U.S. to cause harm.
Activities of Border Patrol Agents in Little Rock involve:
- Patrolling the city
- Checking transportation
- Stopping smugglers
- Checking farms and ranches
- Enforcing sanctions against employers
- Intercepting criminal aliens
- Observing highway traffic
Custom Agent Job Requirements in Arkansas
Those who wish to serve the U.S. as a federal Customs Agent undergo a rigorous screening program. They are evaluated both on their physical and mental prowess, being required to pass a physical and an entry level exam. All potential candidates undergo a background check to screen for drug or alcohol abuse, financial problems, and any criminal history.
Once they have been accepted, candidates undergo at least 58 days of rigorous training. If they are not fluent in Spanish, they are immersed in a 40 day Spanish language program. Instruction involves learning criminal law, administrative immigration law, and criminal law. Candidates are trained in the police sciences, the use of firearms, and arrest and self-defense techniques.
Once graduates have been assigned to their post in Arkansas, they must complete the Field Training Officer (FTO) program. They must also complete the Post Academy Training Program. Graduates of these elite programs then take their place on the front lines helping to protect Americans against a host of ills wrought by illegal transfer into the U.S.