The Sumas Border Patrol Station is one of four points of entry along the Vancouver area of the Canadian Border. It is the easternmost station in the Blaine Sector. This station is operated by the Customs Border Protection (CBP) Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and supports many of the area’s border patrol jobs. Since 9/11, the DHS has dramatically increased the numbers of Customs and Border Patrol agents to help thwart potential terrorists and restrict the flow of illegal immigrants and contraband such as drugs and weapons from entering the county.
The Border Patrol Station in Sumas was recently upgraded with a $10 million, 21,000 square foot station. Built to house over 100 agents, this state of the art facility has such enhancements as a fingerprint scanner that can record all ten fingers. This is expected to increase U.S. security by helping to identify illegal immigrants and drug smugglers who often remove the skin from their index fingers so they cannot be identified.
The Role Agents at the Customs and Border Patrol Stations in Sumas
Being one of the highest volume border crossings between the U.S. and Canada, the jobs of Border Patrol and Customs agents in Sumas involve monitoring those who seek to enter the U.S from Canada. These agents scrutinize the identification provided by those crossing the border to make sure that they are legally able to enter the U.S. A primary goal of Customs and Border Patrol agents is to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country.
Another important goal of these agents is to intercept drugs that smugglers try to bring across the border. British Columbia is the source of much of the high potency marijuana that is smuggled into the U.S. Much of this is brought across the border in vehicles. With the help of K9 officers, Customs and Border Patrol officers are able to intercept a significant amount of drugs that smugglers attempt to bring into the U.S.
Agents based at the Sumas Border Patrol station also patrol the border to the East of the station to the crest of the Cascades. In addition to the smuggling of drugs into the U.S., operatives of Mexican cartels in Washington State try to transport cocaine across the border into Canada. Much of this smuggling takes place outside of urban areas, and the surveillance along the border helps U.S. agents to intercept many of these traffickers. These efforts enhance both U.S. and Canadian security, since drug trafficking poses a wealth of problems, ranging from increases in violent crime to weapons trafficking and money laundering.