The CBP Border Patrol was officially established on July 1, 1924, under the authority of the Immigration Act approved by Congress on May 28, 1924. Effective March 1, 2003, the Border Patrol, became a part of the newly established Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Border Patrol is an office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the protection of our nation's borders. CBP unified Customs, Immigration, and Agriculture Inspectors and the Border Patrol into one border agency for the United States.
From its inception in 1924, the Border Patrol has earned and enjoyed one of the highest reputations among law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. Border Patrol Agents are traditionally known for their intense loyalty and fine esprit de corps. While the mission under the DHS has broadened the scope of the Border Patrol to work in tandem with its border protection partners to fight the threat of terrorism, the primary focus of the Border Patrol remains unchanged---to detect and prevent the smuggling and unlawful entry of undocumented aliens into the United States and to apprehend those persons found in the United States in violation of the Immigration laws. With the increase in drug smuggling operations, one of Border Patrol's primary duties is drug interdiction along the land borders, between all the United States land ports of entry.
One of the most important activities of a Border Patrol Agent is linewatch. This involves the detection, prevention, and apprehension of undocumented aliens and smugglers of aliens at or near the land border by maintaining surveillance from a covert position, following up leads, responding to electronic sensor alarms, infrared scopes during night operations, low light level television systems, aircraft sightings, and interpreting and following tracks, marks, and other physical evidence. Some of the major activities are: farm and ranch check, traffic check, traffic observation, city patrol, transportation check, administrative, intelligence, and anti-smuggling activities.
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