The Douglas area border crossing at Blaine is one of four such entry points along the Canadian border in the Vancouver area. It is staffed by the Customs Border Protection (CBP) Division of the Department of Homeland Security as part of the Seattle Field Operations Office. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, security at both the northern and southern U.S. borders have been ramped up. The CBP hired over 6000 Customs and Border Patrol agents in the period from 2001-2011 to fill vacant jobs, and they are currently recruiting new agents.
This border entry point is heavily traveled both by tourists and those who transport commercial goods. It is subject to frequent delays, and the song “Immigration Man” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash was written about this border crossing. To streamline traffic, Canadians have built an additional lane for those who take part in the NEXUS program to streamline travel between the U.S. and Canada.
The Douglas border crossing is also known as the Peace Arch crossing, because there is a structure in the median between the lanes travelling north and south that commemorates the Treaty of Ghent signing in 1814.
Customs and Border Patrol Agent Interdictions at Douglas
Customs and Border Patrol agent jobs in Douglas involve monitoring citizens who try to enter the U.S. at the Douglas point of entry to ensure that they can enter legally and are not bringing contraband into the country. Although the primary goal of these agents is to thwart potential terrorists, the importation of illegal drugs into the country is also a serious threat to U.S. security. The British Columbia area of Canada is a source of highly potent marijuana that drug smugglers try to bring across the U.S. border.
In addition to staffing the Douglas Point of Entry, CBP agents help to patrol the area along the Canadian border. Mexican cartels operating in Washington State pay a substantial amount of money to U.S. citizens to smuggle cocaine into Canada. There are fears that the Los Zetas cartel of Mexico may soon be operating in the state. Increases in drug smuggling are usually accompanied by an increase in violent crimes, weapons trafficking and money laundering, so Customs and Border Patrol agents also actively intercept drugs that are headed out of the U.S.