The Customs and Border Patrol in Numbers

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The job of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is not an easy one. Not only must they ensure that terrorists and/their weapons are prevented from entering the United States, they must also facilitate the flow of legal trade in its ports of entry. The work of Border Patrol Agents, Air and Marine Interdiction Agents, and other frontliners of the CBP can be dangerous at times. This is especially true when they are actively pursuing criminals or in covert operations. Regular patrols, farm and ranch checks, transportation checks, and anti-smuggling activities can also turn unexpectedly ugly with just the blink of an eye. 

If you are considering a career as a CBP agent then you can get a clearer idea of what it is like to work for this agency by examining their typical year. Based on the 2011 data—the latest—given by the CBP, they have processed, executed, intercepted, seized, deployed, protected, and managed individuals, goods, borders, and ports of entry. Let’s look at what the more than 60,000 CBP employees did for 2011: 

For that year, the 21,063 CBP officers; 2,312 CBP agriculture specialists; 21,137 Border Patrol agents; 51 Air Enforcement officers; 812 Air Interdiction agents; and 356 Marine Interdiction agents were able to collectively protect more than 5,000 miles of border with Canada; 1,900 miles of border with Mexico; and 95,000 miles of tidal shoreline. They have managed 329 ports of entry within 20 field offices and 139 Border Patrol stations within 20 sectors, with 31 permanent checkpoints. To help agents do their job, the CBP has deployed more than 26,000 vehicles; 269 aircrafts; and 228 watercrafts. They also conducted 334 horse patrols and 1,576 canine teams.

The CBP has processed 932,456 passengers and pedestrians arriving by air and sea; 621,874 land travelers; 253,821 incoming privately-owned vehicles; and 64,483 truck, rail, and sea containers. If they let these legal entrants pass, they also denied entry to others who did not have the legal papers or those who were criminals. In 2011, there were 591 inadmissibles processed at ports of entry; 932 apprehensions between the ports of entry; 470 refusals of entry; and 61 arrests of criminals. They also intercepted 49 fraudulent documents and seized more than 13,000 pounds of drugs; $345,687 in undeclared or illicit currency; and 470 pests.

This is what a year is like for CBP agents. If you want to become part of this elite team, you can learn more about what this agency does by talking to a recruiter near you or by browsing the Careers section of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/careers/).