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The work of the Customs and Border Protection agency of the Department of Homeland Security is to secure the country’s borders from the entry of terrorists and their weapons. It is their job to see to it that the flow of legal trade and the entry of legitimate visitors and migrants to the United States are facilitated while at the same time stopping those that do not have all the legal papers to enter the country. To fulfill this immense task, the CBP hires border patrol agents, marine interdiction agents, and CBP officers.
Border patrol agents or BPAs are mainly tasked with securing the land borders that the U.S. shares with Mexico and Canada while marine interdiction agents are in-charge of patrolling the bodies of water that the U.S. has in common with its neighbors. CBP officers, on the other hand, are assigned to work in ports of entry throughout the United States. They are especially critical along the southwest border where much of the hiring is anticipated.
When you apply to become a CBP officer, you will be asked to choose a region where you want to work. There are various duty locations within that region and you must be willing to work where you are assigned there. Since relocation expenses are not going to be paid to the initial duty location, those who already live in a particular region are urged to choose the same region so as to keep these expenses to a minimum.
There are 12 regions for CBP officers. These are: 1) Southwest; 2) Texas East; 3) Northwest/Northern Border; 4) West Coast; 5) Midwest; 6) Northeast; 7) Central/East Coast; 8) Southeast; 9) Florida; 10) Pacific; 11) Alaska; and 12) Hawaii. The duty locations for the Southwest include but are not limited to Laredo, El Paso, Fabens, Brownsville, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, Pharr, Progreso, Presidio, Rio Grande City, and Roma, Texas; Andrade, Calexico, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Tecate, and San Bernardino, California; Arizona, and New Mexico. The Texas East region includes but is not limited to Houston, Galveston, Dallas, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Midland, Freeport, Port Arthur, and San Antonio, Texas.
The Northwest/Northern Border comprises the States of Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota while the West Coast region includes but is not limited to San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland, Los Angeles, Long Beach, California and the States of Nevada and Oregon. The Midwest covers the States of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Ohio and Michigan.
The Northeast region includes but is not limited to Erie, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Alexandria Bay, Champlain, Ogdensburg, New York; and the States of Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine. The Central/East Coast also includes but is not limited to the following locations: NYC/JFK, Philadelphia, and the States of Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Southeast region makes up the States of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky.
The Florida region covers Florida; Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, VI and St. Croix, VI while the duty locations in the Pacific region are Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The two remaining regions are Alaska and Hawaii.