U.S Customs and Border Protection

Border Patrol Agents are focused 24/7 on securing our international land borders and coastal waters between Ports of Entry. They safeguard the American people from terrorists and their weapons, drug smugglers, and illegal entry of undocumented aliens. They truly exemplify U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s core values of integrity, vigilance, and service to country.

Typical assignments include:

  • Detecting, preventing, and apprehending undocumented aliens, smugglers of aliens, and illegal narcotics by maintaining surveillance from covert positions at or near the 6,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian international land borders and over 2,000 miles of coastal borders;
  • Responding to electronic sensor alarms in remote areas;
  • Interpreting and following tracks, marks, and other physical evidence of illegal aliens and smugglers;
  • Using cutting edge technology, such as infrared scopes during nighttime operations;
  • Performing line-watch duties, traffic checkpoint operations, city patrols, transportation checks, and other law enforcement duties, as assigned; and
  • Communicating and/or giving verbal commands in Spanish to Spanish-speaking illegal aliens and smugglers.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities for Border Patrol Agents

Being a Border Patrol Agent opens up many opportunities as your career advances. In your career, you may have the opportunity to participate in the following:

  • Horse Patrol: The Horse Patrol Program is comprised of skilled horse riders, trainers, and instructors. Horse Patrol Agents ride in challenging terrain, environmentally protected, and privately owned sensitive geographic locations. The Horse Patrol are the most viable, and, in some cases, the only option for the U.S. Border Patrol to enter into regions inaccessible by any other means of patrol, such as 4x4 vehicles or All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). Without the Horse Patrol, these areas would remain unpatrolled and susceptible to transnational criminal activity.
  • Bike Patrol: The Bike Patrol operations facilitate the apprehension of all cross-border threats by utilizing the unique tactical law enforcement advantages of stealth, mobility, agility, and accessibility.
  • K-9 Unit: The K-9 Unit uses canines to detect concealed humans and odors of narcotics. The unit also performs Search and Rescue, Special Response Patrol, Human Remains Detection, and Tracking/Trailing.
  • Patrol Boat: Patrol boats are used to access the depth varied water boundaries of the United States. Specially trained agents use airboats, shallow draft vessels, and V-hull platforms to patrol remote waterways and otherwise inaccessible landings that would be exploited by criminal smuggling elements without a law enforcement presence.
  • Off-Road Vehicle Unit: The Off-Road Vehicle Unit is comprised of specially trained agents that use different off-road packaged vehicles, such as ATVs, dirt bikes, and other vehicles specifically designed to access terrain that is not compatible with regular motor vehicles to secure inaccessible areas of the border and intercept drug runners and illegal aliens.
  • Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC): The United States BORTAC provides the Department of Homeland Security with a highly trained and specially equipped tactical unit for specialized rapid response or deliberate deployments to law enforcement situations and intelligence-based threats requiring special tactics, techniques, and procedures in defense of our national security.
  • Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR): In support of the Border Patrol Strategic Plan, the BORSTAR Unit will provide law enforcement, search and rescue, and medical response capabilities for the U.S. Border Patrol. Additionally, BORSTAR will provide mutual assistance to local, county, state, tribal, and Federal entities by responding to enforcement and search and rescue requirements, acts of terrorism, potential terrorism, and natural disasters throughout the United States.
  • Mobile Response Team (MRT): The MRT provides a national group of organized, trained and equipped Border Patrol Agents capable of rapid movement to regional and national incidents in support of priority U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations. MRT provides a flexible and enhanced tiered-response capability to counter the emerging, changing, and evolving threats in our most challenging operational areas along our Nation's borders.