International Falls, Minnesota, which is located in Koochiching County, along the Rainy River, is a border town that is joined with Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada, by the Fort Frances-International Falls International Bridge. The number of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) jobs in the Northern Border Sector, which includes International Falls, increased from 1,887 in 2009 to 2,237 in 2011.
The International Falls side of the Fort Frances-International Falls International Bridge is a U.S. Customs Port of Entry. This bridge carries both road and rail traffic, which contributes to the occurance of smuggling activities and creates a demand for those qualified for border patrol jobs. Two lanes of motor vehicle traffic (one way in each direction) handle automobiles, while trucks and buses travel over the rail section of the bridge.
Border Patrol Job Requirements in International Falls
The United States Custom and Border Patrol, which became a part of the Department of Homeland Security following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, is responsible for detecting, apprehending, and deterring terrorists and terroristic activities along the U.S. borders. Border Patrol jobs are highly demanding, yet also highly rewarding, jobs that rely on officers with keen observational skills and strong work ethics.
To qualify for U.S. Border Patrol jobs, candidates must pass drug, background, criminal, credit, fitness, and polygraph tests, and they must meet specific criteria before being eligible for CBP education and training. In particular, they must:
- Hold U.S. citizenship
- Be a U.S. resident for at least 3 years
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Be no more than 40 years old
- Have no domestic violence convictions
- Possess Spanish speaking skills
The salary range for Border Patrol agents is $38,619 to $49,029, depending on education and experience. All positions with the Border Patrol include a federal government benefits package, which includes a 401-K retirement plan, health insurance, and life insurance.
International Falls U.S. Border Patrol Station
A new $6.8 million International Falls U.S. Border Patrol Station, which was opened in 2010, is a dual-purpose facility that accommodates both the Minnesota State Patrol and the Border Patrol. The facility was built to allow Border Patrol agents to better detect, apprehend and prevent illegal immigrants and contraband from entering the U.S. and to also more effectively detect terrorists and weapons of terrorism.
The new U.S. Border Patrol Station is responsible for overseeing the 143-mile border that separates Minnesota from Ontario. This border crossing is the most active crossing in Minnesota and has been ranked in the top 20 percent for traffic between the United States and Canada. There are now more than 30 agents covering this border (compared to just 2 before September 11, 2001).