Border Patrol Agent

Border Patrol Agent

Oscar

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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Last Answer on November 08, 2016

Best Rated

Is the opposition to building a giant wall the length of the border mostly economical ("we can't afford it"), pragmatic ("it wouldn't work") or political ("a wall is an antagonistic symbol of exclusion")?

Asked by Bucknell over 7 years ago

It's about 95% politics.  No party nor politician wants to be responsible for losing the Latin-American vote or ruffling the feathers of Mexico's government.  It would actually save us a lot of money in the long-run, given how much we spend on border security.

is there any way to know about a family member that was cought crosing the border ?

Asked by brittany12 over 7 years ago

There is no release of information from a station or sector level.  An illegal immigrant is only kept in custody at a station for less than 24 hours (often not more than 12).  As a safety precaution we do not release information/names/locations of individuals in custody.

A person can contact the Mexican/Other consulate within 24-36 hours and they should keep a record of people returned to their country.  In the event that an illegal immigrant is sent to jail or prosecuted they will eventually get a chance to make a phone call/contact relatives etc. (like a normal incarcerated/prosecuted person).

 

Is there tension between you and local cops or other federal agencies about whose jurisdiction something is? Is it ever like on TV where some captain shows up and bellows "Alright this is MY investigation now, get all of these mall cops outta here!"

Asked by Toranna. over 7 years ago

There was a lot of tension between the local indian tribal police and ourselves.  The Tohono O'Odham indian police were often very shady (and caught doing rather suspicious things).  The entire reservation was corrupt/dirty so these police often had family members who were into illegal stuff as well.

You'd occasionally catch the police driving at night in the desert, lights out - well beyond their patrol areas.  They'd invent some story about what they were doing etc.  Likewise they would attempt to pull over BP vehicles when we were tailing suspicious vehicles etc.  It was always an interesting time with them.

The only issues we had with local deputies or police was simply due to manpower.  They'd get mad at us when we didn't have enough agents to respond to their immigration issues, and we'd get mad when they wouldn't come pick up warrants because we were too far away from them etc.  It was never harsh, just frustrating from both ends.

Sheriff Joe (Maricopa County Sheriff) was always a cool cat.  I actually liked that he openly berated DHS etc. for not doing our job better.  He would bring news cameras etc. with him when he turned over tons of illegal immigrants to the local I.C.E. office who didn't want to process them etc.  He really gets stuff done, and doesn't take nonsense from anyone.

There is so much criminal traffic out in AZ that all LEO's pretty much gel together when the proverbial feces hit the wind oscillator.  You'd always stop to back up local PD, DPS guys, or Sheriff's Deputies etc.  They would likewise stop and check on you.

I was involved in a 120-mile pursuit one time which involved: BP Agents from two stations, indian police, sheriff's deputies, sheriff's drug task force, DPS, and two local police departments.  It got downright confusing, but we got the vehicle.  In short, we never had the silly TV show drama.

Is there a point where Border Patrol's jurisdiction ends and regular law enforcement's begins? I mean, at some point a crosser who evades US Border Patrol will be far enough North to just be IN the country and a problem for USCIS and not you, right?

Asked by apchick over 7 years ago

BP Agents have authority to apprehend illegal immigrants anywhere in the country.  However, special statutes and laws which allow us to set up traffic check-points, inspect items/people coming into the country, and stop vehicles for immigration purposes diminishes as you move further into the country.

If, for instance I was in Ohio and someone admitted to being an illegal immigrant, I could apprehend them.  This of course assumes I'm on duty and in uniform etc.  In this instance I would end up taking them to the nearest I.C.E. processing center.

Illegal is illegal. 

Oh, and did you see someone tried to blow up Sheriff Joe last week?? I'd imagine he has a lot of enemies by now!

Asked by brig4 over 7 years ago

We could do with a lot more Sheriff Joes in this world.  He is a dying breed.  For someone that people complain about a lot, he's been in office now for what 15-20 years and keeps getting re-elected?  He's doing his job (a difficult one at that).  The modern world seems to hate people with real work ethic or real opinions/values.

I applaud the guy.  He has way too many enemies...that, if anyting, proves he's doing a hell of a job.

Can you still join the Border Patrol if you have tattoos or is it not allowed?Thank you for your time!

Asked by Sam over 7 years ago

Tattoos are not a concern, unless you have obscenities or graphic content displayed on your neck/face/hands etc.  If you have "normal" tattoos which are reasonable it is not a problem.

Was it depressing that the border was such a revolving door? Did you feel like you were making a difference when a new crop of illegals would show up every day?

Asked by Isaac over 7 years ago

Yep, very depressing and stressful.  Living in AZ it's more than obvious we're not making much of a difference.  From Phoenix to the border the state has been flooded with illegal immigrants.  You'd see hundreds daily just on the drive in to work.  So, short answer - no I did not feel like we were making much of a difference.

It was also very obvious from the agency perspective that there was no genuine desire to effect real change.  The USBP is about 50% just a dog and pony show.  But we all knew that.  We busted our butts, worked hard - but at the end of the day we knew the government etc. was not genuinely serious about "closing the border".