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Idaho has three ports of entry managed by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Border Patrol Agents, CBP Officers, and other employees see to it that only lawful trade is allowed to pass these areas. They also ensure that only individuals with the proper documents can lawfully enter the United States. In Idaho, the ports of entry are located in Boise, Eastport, and Porthill. Boise is the state capital and where the major airport is located. Eastport, meanwhile, is located on the Canadian border. It is located opposite Kingsgate in British Columbia. Porthill is an unincorporated area close to the Canadian border. Here, State Hwy. 1 becomes the British Columbia Highway.
Compared to the busier Border Patrol sectors in California or Florida, the entry points in Idaho may seem rather “sleepy,” employing only 257 agents in 2011 and making only 293 apprehensions for immigrants who tried to enter the country illegally. Their confiscation of 286.45 pounds of marijuana and 71.62 pounds of cocaine that year can be considered meager compared to confiscations in other ports. However, the ports of entry in Idaho are crucial because the United States shares a 45-mile long border with British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia has been identified as a place where marijuana brought into the U.S. comes from. Drug cartels from Mexico find Idaho ideal in smuggling narcotics because it has a rural nature that makes it easier to get the goods delivered into the U.S.
If you want to become a Border Patrol Agent in Idaho and apply for Idaho Border Patrol jobs, you have to brace yourself for a demanding hiring process. On the average, it can take 6 to 9 months from application to selection before you can officially call yourself a Border Patrol Agent. Here is an outline of the steps:
Meeting the Basic Requirements. Do you meet the basic qualifications to become an agent? You need to be a U.S. citizen; hold a valid Idaho driver’s license, and speak Spanish or be able to learn it. Those above 40 years old are disqualified since the CBP requires that you need to be appointed before your 40th birthday. Your education or experience (or a combination of both) should also meet the basic requirements. At the entry-level, you will need to have completed a bachelor’s degree—a four year course after high school– if you are qualifying for education. You can also qualify if you’ve had one year paid or unpaid experience which highlighted your ability to make rational decisions and stay calm even under pressure. The experience should have also fully demonstrated your capacity to learn law enforcement regulations, methods and techniques in the classroom or on the job and enabled you to gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents and records. A combination of education and experience may also be used to qualify.
Applying for a Vacancy. Vacancies for Idaho Border Patrol jobs are posted on the USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov) website. Although searching and reading the announcement is free, you need to register for an account with USAJOBS in order to build your resume and send your application online. Be sure to read the whole announcement carefully—especially the how to apply section—since this is what you need to follow when sending your application.
Hacking the Selection Process. You should pass the Border Patrol Entrance Examination if you want to put your name on the list of possible agents. If you are given a tentative selection letter, you also need to pass a medical exam, fitness assessment, drug test, background investigation, and structured interview to be given a conditional letter of employment. You also need to pass a polygraph examination if you want to be considered. A history of felony offenses or conviction of the misdemeanor offense of domestic violence will disqualify you from being a Border Patrol Agent.
Training at the Border Patrol Academy. If you get hired, you will be required to attend a rigorous, 58-day paid training in the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. You will have to pass all the courses, including the Spanish language course, if you want to become an Idaho Border Patrol Agent.
If you still want more information about becoming a Border Patrol Agent, you can talk to a recruiter. Idaho belongs to the Spokane Sector of the Border Patrol where a recruiter can be reached at (509) 353-2672 or by email at ProtectUS@dhs.gov.