Mississippi is bordered by four other states and the Gulf of Mexico, making it fertile ground for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that prevents terrorists, their weapons, undocumented aliens and smugglers of illegal drugs or other contraband from entering the U.S.
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Mississippi is part of the New Orleans sector which, in 2011, employed 70 agents who were responsible for 1,509 apprehensions as well as the confiscation of 214.24 pounds of marijuana and 20.43 pounds of cocaine that resulted in 108 accepted prosecutions. A January 18, 2008 article in the Clarion Ledger noted that a special Mississippi border patrol task force detained 160 undocumented aliens in its first three days of operation!
The Versatility of Border Patrol Jobs in Mississippi
In addition to land stations and inspection ports, the CBP has a cadre of air and marine interdiction agents who patrol the skies and waters within 100 miles of a border. The specialized unit has a sophisticated fleet of 301 vessels nationwide, including high-speed interceptor motorboats, coastal enforcement vessels and river watercraft. The dedicated officers are often involved in rescue.
An August 21, 2012 CBP press release reported that marine officers conducting a routine security patrol in the Gulf of Mexico rescued a citizen who was stranded on the top of his capsized boat. They took the man aboard the CBP vessel, checked his physical condition, and waited with him by the overturned boat until the Coast Guard took over. The incident highlights how the CBP works side by side with other homeland security components.
Agriculture is an important segment of the economy of Mississippi which is the second largest cotton producer and a major exporter of corn, peanuts, pecans, rice, sugar cane and sweet potatoes. U.S. Customs careers for agricultural specialists require training and education to become experts in detecting, intercepting and preventing the entrance of pests, diseases, bio-threats or invasive species that pose a danger to Mississippi’s crops, livestock and/or environment.
CBP Ports of Entry in Mississippi
The “Magnolia State” has three official ports of entry:
- Gulfport – Besides its 6.7 miles of sandy beaches and an annual “World’s Largest Fishing Rodeo,” Gulfport is the third busiest container port on the Gulf of Mexico. It handled over 2.2 million tons of cargo in 2011.
- Pascagoula – A long-time center of oil refineries and shipbuilding, it is also a full-service, deepwater port at which roughly 35 million tons of cargo move through its terminals each year.
- Vicksburg – The CBP maintains stations at Jackson International Airport and downtown Vicksburg, the state’s main port on the Mississippi River.
Salaries of Border Patrol Jobs in Mississippi
The following annual salaries are listed by the CBP for first-year employees:
- Border Patrol Agent – $38,619- $43,964 depending on education and experience. Excellent overtime opportunities and benefits. Regular salary increases.
- Air & Marine Interdiction Specialist – $50,287 the first year. Subsequent increases to $71,674/year.
- Agricultural Specialist – $31,350-$47,448 t0 start. Regular increases to $61,678.