The El Paso Times reported that in 2010, an average of 30 people were apprehended daily by the El Paso, Texas Border Patrol while trying to immigrate illegally into the United States. The total number of undocumented immigrants detained by the El Paso Border Patrol sector in 2010 was 12,251. The numbers keep decreasing each year as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) hire more agents and officers to fill vital border patrol jobs.
CBP notes that a Border Patrol Sector was established in El Paso, Texas in 1924 when Congress approved the Immigration Act. Today, the El Paso Sector comprises 125,000 square miles and is one of nine Border Patrol Sectors running along the United States’ southwest border with Mexico.
Border patrol is an exciting, challenging and sometimes dangerous career field. Many people choose this field because of a strong sense of loyalty and duty to the U.S. After September 11, 2001, more people elected to work in border patrol and other areas under the newly created Department of Homeland Security. The Border Patrol not only prevents illegal immigration, but its personnel also are often the first to report suspicious terrorist sightings in each sector in which they patrol. Keeping citizens of the United States safe is the primary job of a border patrol worker. They are a large part of why El Paso is now considered one of the safest cities in the United States.
In addition to apprehending persons trying to illegally enter into the U.S., border patrol personnel in El Paso also prevent other crimes from happening. Local crime statistics for 2010 include:
- $70 million of illegal drugs seized
- 12 juveniles charged with illegal smuggling
Border Crossings in El Paso, Texas
Eleven border-crossing stations are contained in the El Paso Sector, and include:
- Alamogordo, New Mexico
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Deming, New Mexico
- El Paso, Texas
- Fabens, Texas
- Fort Hancock, Texas
- Las Cruces, New Mexico
- Lordsburg, New Mexico
- Santa Teresa, New Mexico
- Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
- Ysleta, Texas
An 18-foot-high fence runs along most of the 268 miles of international border contained in the El Paso sector, built at a cost of $3.3 million per mile. Border patrol personnel also use seismic, magnetic and infrared sensors to keep a check on border intrusions before they happen.
Border Patrol Requirements and Job Titles in El Paso, Texas
With border patrol being a crucial area in which many people are needed to work, there are diverse jobs available in the El Paso area. They include:
Border Patrol Agent: Currently, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection employs 2400 Border Patrol Agents in the El Paso sector. In addition to preventing persons from illegally entering the U.S., Border Patrol Agents also help to prevent terrorists and their weapons from entering the U.S. as well as apprehending persons in violation of U.S. immigration laws.
In order to become a border patrol agent, you must be a U.S. citizen and resident under the age of 40, have a valid driver’s license and pass tests including a background check, medical exam, fitness test, drug test and physical fitness test. Border patrol recruiters provide more information on Border Patrol Agent jobs. The El Paso Sector recruiting agent may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-525-8848.
CBP Officer: This position gives the person full law enforcement powers, including those of searching, arresting, and serving warrants. Job duties include identifying possible terrorists trying to illegally enter the U.S.; stopping criminal activities like weapons trafficking, drug trafficking, and money laundering; inspecting vehicles and preventing illegal entry into the U.S.
You must meet all of the above requirements for Border Patrol Agent, plus have either three years of experience (for a GS-5 level position) in meeting and dealing with people or one year (for a GS-7 level position) of specialized experience. A bachelor’s degree may be used in place of the three years’ of experience requirement for a GS-5 CBP position. You may use a combination of education and experience to attain a GS level. You must also be under the age of 37 to be a CBP Officer.