According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the town of Laurier in Ferry County, Washington, has an official population of one person. However, Laurier is home to three buildings, all of them the property of the U.S. government and part of the U.S. Port of Entry at Laurier/Cascade. This border crossing in the northeastern corner of Washington State is extremely remote and used primarily by vacationers taking holiday trips to nearby Christina Lake, British Columbia. As such, the border crossing sees little freight traffic. It is open from 8 am until midnight daily.
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The Laurier Border Crossing also serves as a port of entry for passengers arriving at the nearby Avey Field State Airport. This airport has the unique feature of a runway/landing strip that crosses the international border between the United States and Canada. Passengers departing the airport utilize the customs and immigration facilities at the Laurier border crossing, which is located on the highway adjacent to the airport’s parking lot.
Border Patrol Employment at Laurier
As part of United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Border Patrol agents in Laurier are responsible for managing the legal entry of passengers and goods into the United States at the official port of entry. Typical jobs at ports of entry include customs officers and agricultural specialists.
However, given the rural location of Laurier, Border Patrol agents have the additional responsibility of securing the northern border against breaches by smugglers attempting to bring narcotics, money, weapons or people across remote stretches of the border. Agents assigned to Laurier are part of the CBP’s Spokane Sector, Colville Station. This sector has increased its utilization of high tech methods of preventing criminal activity, including unmanned flights, thermal camera and other surveillance methods. Specialists in these areas are needed.
The Spokane Sector also employs low tech methods of securing rugged terrain through the Noble Mustang project. Special Border Patrol agents ride horseback in difficult-to-access areas, increasing CBP’s ability to patrol these regions, preserving the ecology of the natural areas and saving taxpayer money.
Requirements for Working at Laurier
US Customs and Border Patrol is part of the federal Department of Homeland Security. Potential agents must meet high standards of fitness and conduct, be less than 40 years old (certain categories are exempt), know or be able to learn Spanish, and pass a background check. A polygraph test may also be required.
Successful candidates will start as level GL-5 to GL-9 employees, depending on education and experience. Starting salaries for these levels range from $38, 619 to $49,029 with opportunities to earn overtime pay. Employees also qualify for federal benefits packages, including health insurance, life insurance and retirement plans.