Los Indios is a small border town located in Cameron County, Texas, which is part of the larger metropolitan areas of Brownsville-Harlingen-Raymondville and Matamoros-Brownsville. Population of Los Indios was 1,083 at the time of the 2010 census. It is located about 10 miles south of Harlingen and about 123 miles south of Corpus Christi.
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The Free Trade International Bridge, which connects Los Indios with the Mexican border town of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, is a Port of Entry patrolled and protected by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Los Indios border patrol agents must be constantly alert and aware of activities at the Los Indios Port of Entry. Just a few of the examples of border crimes that have occurred at the Los Indios Port of Entry within the last two years include:
- February 2011 – A San Benito man was arrested after he tried to smuggle more than $152,000 into Mexico.
- August 2010 – CBP officers apprehended a male Mexican citizen after they found 26.4 pounds of cocaine and methamphetamine among 16 packages. The total value was $790,000.
Border Patrol Job Requirements in Los Indios
The United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), which is now part of the Department of Homeland Security after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is involved with detecting, apprehending and deterring terrorist, terroristic activities, and illegal immigrants and contraband.
The number of border patrol jobs has steadily increased in the Southwest Sector (which includes Los Indios):
- FY2009: 17,535
- FY2010: 17,535
- FY2011: 18,506
Border patrol agents in Los Indios, like agents of other Ports of Entry, are tasked with handling all port-related operations and activities, including enforcing import and export laws and performing agricultural inspections.
Candidates who want to become Border Patrol officers must meet specific requirements, including: passing a drug test; passing a fitness test; passing a credit and criminal history check; and passing a polygraph test. They must be U.S. citizens, and they must hold U.S. residency for at least 3 years.
Further, they must hold a valid driver’s license, be free of any domestic violence convictions, and be no more than 40 years of age. All Border Patrol agents must also possess Spanish speaking skills.
Border patrol agents are hired at one of three levels, depending on education and experience:
- GL-5 ($38,619)
- GL-7 ($43,964)
- GL-9 ($49,029)
Border patrol officer jobs include life insurance, retirement benefits, and health insurance.
Los Indios Port of Entry
The Free Trade International Bridge is a U.S. port of entry. Ports of entry are those border points that are authorized accept merchandise, collect duties, and enforce customs and immigration laws.
The Free Trade International Bridge, which is also known at the Los Indios-Lucio Blanco Bridge and the Los Indios Free Trade Bridge, was opened for traffic in 1992. It is 503 feet long and consists of four lanes of traffic. It includes a mix of pedestrians and passenger and commercial vehicles.