Border Patrol Agent

Border Patrol Agent


Charleston, SC

Male, 31

Spent a bit over four years (2006-2010) serving as a Border Patrol Agent in Tucson Sector, AZ: the busiest sector in the country. Worked numerous positions, and spent the last year and a half operating/instructing ground radar installations. Duties included: field patrols, transport, processing, control room duties, transportation check, checkpoint operations, static watch duties, etc.

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385 Questions


Last Answer on November 08, 2016

Best Rated

I know there's a good bit of bull played up for the cameras when following patrol officers for the purpose of making a t.v. show. Are agents really forced to check their weapons out at the start of every shift and in prior to heading home?

Asked by L.E.O. 504 about 11 years ago

Depends on the weapon.  Agents are issued a service handgun (currently an HK P2000 in .40 S&W).  Shotguns and carbines (M4/M4A1's) are checked out during shift if you think you'll need one.

Special units may be issued "take home" carbines/shotguns and even secondary handguns (for clandestine/undercover tasks).  So, carbines/shotguns are kept in the armory (our station did not have nearly enough for everyone to have an issued longarm.). 

You keep your handgun at all times.  It is your assigned firearm.

so i entered the USA as an illegal immigrant as a child with my uncle and the border patrol caught us and let us in the US when i was 12 i can back to my homeland and now im going 2 turn 18 can i apply for a visa and not get denied 4being ilegal once

Asked by Andy coleman about 11 years ago

That would be a question for your consulate and the Immigration authorities.  Normally if you were brought into the U.S. as a child it should not hurt your application process, but I can not state one way or the other.

You may be able to contact the office of a federal immigration judge for a proper answer.

Current CRJ major in junior year, in Air Guard, age 22. If I apply now is there a good chance of getting hired or is it a total crap-shoot? Am I too young? apply now while there are openings or finish degree and hope there are openings later on?

Asked by irishdude about 11 years ago

Getting into the USBP is not overly difficult.  You are perfectly qualified.  The only issue would be whether or not the USBP is hiring or not.  The academy is always running in some fashion.  Classes are put through to fill slots as agents retire/transfer to other agencies.

Like every other politically-volatile agency the BP goes through hiring phases, and hiring freezes.  When I joined it was part of the push from 8,000 agents up to 15,000+.  The academy was absolutely packed, running overtime.  Since then numbers have gone down a bit at the academy.

I would see if you can contact a recruiting agent.  They may be able to start the hiring process and have you wait to finish your degree (above al things - finish your degree!) to report to the academy.


Just wondering I have a felony could I still be come a US Border Patrol?

Asked by Brett almost 11 years ago

That's a question for a BP recruiter.  I think it would depend entirely on the type of felony.  My gut instinct says "nope", but I could be wrong.

As a rule, when you went out on patrol, what did you take with you? How many BP agents would be on the ground at one time for patrol per shift, and were they paired or in larger groups?

Asked by CL Smith almost 11 years ago

All of these questions are completely dependent on the station/sector and the needs of the shift.  You could have over 100 agents per shift.  Agents operate singles or in pairs, but when a task is called out on the radio who knows how many could show up.  Bike teams and horses were often 4-8 agents depending on the shift.  It also depends on how many agents were available, how supervisors preferred to work an area, and how busy traffic was in certain areas.


On the reality show Border Wars, the BP agents shown almost always identify themselves when they come upon illegals, whether they are suspected of smuggling people or drugs. Is this really SOP or is it done just for the camera?

Asked by C L Smith almost 11 years ago

That is probably mostly done for the camera.  If you're within a mile or two of the border, everyone (including the illegals) knows what's going on.  Many times they see agents and sit down.  They know the drill.  If you're operating on a highway or in another area you will identify yourself.  Tourists or travellers who are not used to the border area won't know who/what you are etc.

I do believe it is policy to identify yourself...but the uniforms and big vehicles with "BORDER PATROL" on them, kind of give it away.  Now, having said that - there are groups of bandits (Mexican criminals who actually prey on other groups of Mexican illegals) who try to dress up as the Border Patrol (wearing similar outfits etc.).  They will shout out Border Patrol as they encounter groups and then rob them.

In other sectors where there are towns and populations I am sure it's a vastly diffierent circumstance.  In the middle of the desert you'll only find agents, illegals and cartel guys. 

I have been in the border patrol Explorer program for two years and was given explorer of the year my first year. will this increase the speed of the application process.

Asked by Mr.305 almost 11 years ago

I don't believe so.  The application process has no real steps you can skip or speed up.  However, if you contact the agents you work with they would possibly be able to put you in touch with the Sector's recruitment agents who might be able to tell you more.