Violence against citizens on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border has never been as high as today.
With 1200 miles of shared border, authorities and front line border agents use many techniques to combat the violence and illegal activity from crossing into the United States.
Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) evolved a great deal from their original mission established on May 28, 1924.
Most Americans assume the danger comes from Mexico cartel drug gangs, but that is only part of the problem.
Of particular concern to authorities is the fact that CBP is seeing more attempts of illegal entry by people from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and even Middle Eastern aliens who come from Central America through Mexico, into Texas, and into the rest of United States.
TEXAS LEADERS CONTINUE TO PRESSURE OBAMA
Texas leaders like Attorney General Greg Abbott, Senator John Cornyn and Governor Rick Perry have repeatedly called on the Obama White House to do more.
What started out as a small border guard responding to increasing illegal immigration in the early 1920’s is now focused on patrolling over 6,000 miles of Mexican and Canadian international land borders and 2,000 miles of waters surrounding Florida and Puerto Rico.
Now a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a primary focus of the Border Patrol has changed to detection, apprehension and/or deterrence of terrorists and terrorist weapons.
The CBP overall mission remains unchanged: to detect and prevent the illegal entry of aliens into the United States.
Important activities of a Border Patrol Agent include line watch, involving the detection, prevention and apprehension of terrorists, undocumented aliens and smugglers.
Other activities are traffic check, traffic observation, city patrol, transportation check, administrative, intelligence, and anti-smuggling.
Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) Teams are highly specialized units capable of responding to emergency search and rescue situations. They undergo a highly specialized regimen consisting of training in physical fitness and training in various other disciplines, including medical skills, technical rescue, navigation, communication, swift water rescue, and air operations.
BORSTAR’s primary mission is to respond to incidents involving distressed agents and migrants along the border. These rescued individuals are predominantly undocumented aliens but also include agents and border residents. Search and rescue operations are conducted throughout the year in varying climates.
Note: Photos in this tribute were taken by James R. Tourtellotte and Gerald L. Nino, from CBP archives.
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