Brownsville, which is located on the southernmost tip of the state of Texas along the northern bank of the Rio Grande, is a large town that shares a border with Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Border patrol jobs are found in the Port of Brownsville, which is overseen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The port has become a major, economic hub for South Texas, thanks to international trade with Mexico. Along with international commerce, has come an increase in border crime, which has made this an important position for U.S. border patrol agents.
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The Department of Homeland Security reported that, along the U.S.’s southwest border there were 327,580 apprehensions in 2010, with about 119,000 of them occurring in Texas. Just a few notable incidences involving U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) in Brownsville in recent months included:
- March 2012 – CBP officers apprehended a San Benito resident after they discovered 13 packages of cocaine worth more than $1 million hidden in his pickup truck.
- December 2012 – CBP officers apprehended a Brownsville woman charged with attempting to smuggle three children from El Salvador into the U.S.
Border Patrol Job Requiremens in Brownsville
The Southwest Sector of the CBP, which includes the Brownsville area, employed 17,408 Border Patrol officers in FY2009; 17,535 in FY 2010; and 18,506 in FY 2011.
The U.S. Border Patrol, along with other law enforcement officials, helps maintain the borders, facilitate the flow of legal immigration, deter illegal immigrants, and stop illegal contraband.
The Brownsville/Matamoros border is also heavily patrolled by the CBP using the latest technology and equipment due to the natural water boundary between these two sister cities, the Rio Grande River. As such, Border Patrol agents are tasked with patrolling not only the three ports of entry, but the 25 miles of waterway, as well. Border Patrol officers in Brownsville also frequently check northbound buses and local detention facilities for the presence of illegal immigrants.
Border patrol officers perform their jobs through horse patrol, bike patrol, boat patrol, ATV patrol, and through remote video monitoring systems.
Candidates who pursue jobs through the Border Patrol must:
- Be U.S. citizens
- Be residents of the United States for more than 3 year
- Be fluent in Spanish
- Pass a drug test
- Pass a fitness test
- Pass a polygraph test
- Have a completed credit and background test
- Be no more than 40 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have no domestic violence convictions
U.S. Border Patrol agents, regardless of their location, can expect starting salaries of (depending on their education and experience):
- GL-5 ($38,619)
- GL-7 ($43,964)
- GL-9 ($49,029)
Brownsville Port of Entry
Due to the size and trade activity between Brownsville and its Mexican neighbor, Matamoros, three ports of entry connect these two cities:
- The Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge – The Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge is also known as the Express Bridge and the B&M International Bridge.
- Gateway International Bridge
- Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates – The Veterans International Bridge at Los Tomates is also known simply as the Veterans Bridge.