With an area of 1,214 square miles, Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state; however, its unique configuration includes 35 islands, including Aquidneck Island which holds the popular summer resort city of Newport. Rhode Island borders Massachusetts and Connecticut as well as the Atlantic Ocean, Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. Although it only has a 40-mile-long general coastline, Rhode Island has 384 miles of tidal coastline, which includes island shorelines.
The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency of the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for patrolling the 6,000 miles of international borders with Mexico and Canada and the 12,383 coastline miles, of which 2,069 miles are along the Atlantic Ocean. The CBP’s most important function is to be a watchful presence at land and coastal borders in order to detect, prevent and apprehend terrorists, undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens or illegal goods.
Rhode Island Border Patrol Ports of Entry
Rhode Island has two official ports of entry at which CBP agents monitor and facilitate travel/trade, and enforce customs, immigration and navigation laws.
- Providence – The CBP port is located at the T.F. Green airport in the town of Warwick, just 11 miles from the center of Providence, Rhode Island’s capital city. Providence is a service port where, in addition to regular border duties, CBP agents/officers perform all cargo processing functions.
- Newport – Located on Aquidneck Island, Newport is famous for the summer mansions of people like the Vanderbilts. It is connected to the mainland via bridges.
Border Patrol Jobs and Salaries in Rhode Island
According to a 2008 CBP bulletin, there were 16,175 agents working nationwide in 2008 when a concerted recruiting effort was made across the country, including a May event at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. By 2011, the number of CBP agents had increased to 21,444 and the job outlook remains excellent. Men and women who have served in the military are especially invited to apply. A 2008 CBP press release noted that veterans make up 25 percent of the CBP workforce.
The screening process includes a written examination, structured interview, physical fitness evaluation, medical examination, and either a Spanish proficiency or language aptitude test. New recruits are required to attend a 55-day basic training in New Mexico. Individuals not proficient in Spanish must also attend a 40-day Spanish immersion course.
The CBP maintains that new agents earn between $36,000 and $46,000 in the first year with the potential to earn up to $70,000/year within three years of service. In addition, there are overtime opportunities to increase one’s salary by as much as 25 percent. Other benefits include federal health insurance, life insurance and retirement pay.