The entire U.S. Border marking the territorial boundaries between the U.S. and Mexico, and between the U.S. and Canada is a stretch of almost 6,000 miles of land and 2000 miles of coastal waters, spanning 12 nautical miles along the Florida Peninsula and surrounding the U.S. Territorial Island of Puerto Rico. The U.S. Homeland Security Department, through the Customs Border and Protection (CBP) agency, provides and deploys a dynamic workforce of more than 21,000 border patrol agents to secure the entire length of the U.S. International Border.
What Do CBP Patrol Agents Do to Protect the U.S. International Borders
Border Patrol Agents carry out the legwork in accomplishing the CBP’s mission of preventing terrorists and their weapons from entering the country; and to ensure that only legal travel, lawful immigration and legitimate trade takes place.
They patrol all types of border terrain under any weather condition across the entire expanse of land and coastal waters comprising the U.S. Borders. Their daily duties include, but are not limited to the following
Linewatch and Signcutting
Linewatch are monitoring activities conducted near international boundaries, along land and coastlines, by observing through binoculars any signs of illegal entry and trafficking of undocumented foreign individuals. The purpose of which is to alert other Border Patrol agents in signcutting illegal activities.
Signcutting refers to the actual detection of any signs indicating the presence or passage of humans, animals or vehicular equipment, and intercept them before perpetrators can escape the border areas to enter the U.S. illegally.
Conduct Traffic Checks
CBP units conduct traffic checks along major highways to detect and thereafter apprehend illegal travelers before they reach interior land areas of the U.S. jurisdiction.
CBP agents, along with a K-9, inspect buses, freight and passenger trains, commercial aircrafts and marine vessels plying toward U.S. interior to proactively detect and prevent illegal entry and smuggling activities.
Border Patrol agents regularly scout coastal waters, waterways, and interior waters, to perform border control activities while on decks of various marine vessels and crafts covering all 16 sectors of the border areas.
Horse and Bike Patrol
Horse riding patrol units of the CBP provides support to linewatch spotters detecting unusual human activities in remote areas not accessible to standard, all terrain transport equipment. Patrols on bikes provide assistance to city patrol, for use in rough terrains spotted as critical by linewatch agents.
Conduct Cargo Security Checks and Examination at Ports of Entry
The CBP’s mission at ports of entry is quite complex, as they work with different law enforcement authorities when screening entrants at more than 300 land, sea and air ports. Entrants include tourists, returning Americans, daily commuters and imported cargo.
CBP agents determine admissibility of port entrants by verifying documents presented to prove the identity, nationality and purpose or intent of those entering a border port. Verification starts outside of the border, via pre-inspections conducted by U.S.Immigration authorities.
CBP checks and inspections at ports of entry comprise all tasks carried out in order to thwart attempts of illegal immigrants, drug traffickers, criminals and terrorists, to set foot in the U.S. via port entry.
Cargo inspections employ risk-based and advanced technology in pre-screening and assessing cargo containers. Any deemed as suspicious undergo 100 % inspection. The purpose of which is to have a look of what is inside, as means of ascertaining that the contents do not pose as risks to U.S. citizens, as well as to make sure that proper customs revenue will be collected.