Antelope Wells, a small, unincorporated area in New Mexico’s Hidalgo County, is one of the smallest ports of entry into Mexico, but still a place where the occurrence of border crimes support vital border patrol jobs. El Berrento, the adjacent Mexican port of entry, is a gateway to the eastern Sierra Madres mountain range located in the northwestern state of Chihuahua.
Current Status of the Antelope Wells Port of Entry
The Antelope Wells port of entry, which opened in 1928, is a tiny cinderblock outpost staffed by two border patrol agents who live in trailers and make up the entire population of Antelope Wells. The port of entry is open seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and is only useable by pedestrians and non-commercial traffic. According to the New Mexico Border Authority, 241 vehicles crossed into the U.S. at Antelope Wells in November, 2012. No statistics are available for arrests or seizures; however, in 2001 the border patrol apprehended 94 illegal immigrants six miles from the entry point.
Future Expectations for the Antelope Wells Port of Entry
The Antelope Wells outpost has received funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, a stimulus program intended to revitalize the sagging U.S. economy. The $15 million project is part of a $420 million plan to modernize U.S. ports of entry.
The Antelope Wells project includes an 11,000-square-foot building and a 5,000-square-foot forward operating base for agents and officers of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. The new high-tech facility will be one of the most well fortified ports of entry in southern New Mexico. The additional law enforcement presence will allow Antelope Wells to extend its hours and services and to handle both private and commercial traffic. The grand opening of the new facility has been delayed a year because the local power line was only capable of providing half of the needed electricity. A new power line is currently under construction.
Job Outlook for Antelope Wells
The CSP is the largest and fastest growing law enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security. The dedicated members of the border patrol serve with pride, knowing their jobs are critical for the nation’s safety. Since 9/11, the CBP’s top priority has been to prevent terrorists and their weapons from entering the U.S. Border patrol agents and officers also strive to prevent illegal persons and products from crossing the border and to stem the flow of illegal drugs and other contraband. In all likelihood, the new Antelope Wells facility will need a larger workforce but the number and types of future employees has not yet been announced.
CBP Job Requirements
Jobs with the CBP include:
- Border Patrol Agent
- Border Patrol Officer
- Agricultural Specialist
- Import Specialist
- Air and Marine Interdiction Agents
- Other Mission & Operational Support Positions
Front line border patrol agents and officers must pass physical fitness and other tests. Fluency in Spanish will most likely be a requisite for openings at the new Antelope Wells facility. Agent and officer recruits are required to attend a paid 58-day basic training camp in New Mexico. Base starting salary for border patrol agents is $38,619.