As part of its efforts to increase the security of the U.S. in the wake of 9/11, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has greatly ramped up efforts to patrol the border of the U.S. with Canada. One of the Border Patrol Stations along this border is the Eastport border crossing in Maine that is part of the Boston Field Operations Office. The ranks of the CBP have increased 600% in the period between 2001 and 2011, and there are active recruitment efforts underway to hire more Customs and Border Patrol agents who are able to meet training and education requirements.
Customs and Border Patrol jobs in Eastport, Maine involve monitoring those who try to cross from Canada to ensure that they have the proper identification to do so. Since 2008, both the U.S. and Canada have required a photo ID and proof of citizenship such as a passport or a certificate such as a record of birth or naturalization.
Security Threats Along the Northern Border
While thwarting potential terrorist attacks is the main goal of the DHS, an important job for Customs and Border Patrol agents is to stop the importation of drugs across the U.S. border. Drugs brought across the Canadian border into Maine frequently include pharmaceutical drugs and Ecstasy (MDMA), along with highly potent marijuana. With an increase in drug trafficking has come an increase in property crime, weapons trafficking, and money laundering in Maine. The transportation of drugs from the U.S. into Canada is also a problem as Interstate 95 (the “New England Pipeline” for drugs) terminates at the Eastport Border Crossing.
While less high profile, the importation of pests, pathogens, and noxious weeds into the U.S. is a threat to agriculture and natural ecosystems in the country. The CBP has trained Agricultural Specialists to identify potentially threatening organisms on food, vegetables, and plant matter being imported into the U.S. This is such a severe threat that there is now a career track for entry-level Agricultural Specialists. These agents train all CBP agents to identify potentially deleterious organisms.