How to Get a Border Patrol Job in Arkansas
The Little Rock Border Patrol Station was set up sometime in the 1950s when illegal immigrants, mostly Mexican laborers, flooded Arkansas in search for construction and agricultural work. They mostly worked in cotton fields which was the largest crop in the U.S. at that time. With the establishment of this station, the Border Patrol Agents managed to capture around 1,000 illegal aliens a year. At present, Little Rock- North Little Rock is a port-of-entry manned by CBP officers. The CBP also maintains a user-fee airport in Rogers, Arkansas. An airport is a “User Fee Airport” when fees are charged for the use of CBP services.
Border Patrol Agents do city patrols to check for suspicious activity related to drug smuggling, illegal immigration, and the like. Little Rock officers also do spot checks for illegal aliens by setting up traffic checkpoints in major highways. Aside from transportation checks to verify the immigration status of individuals, agents also inspect suspicious cargo and vehicles for smuggled goods. They are especially active in Interstates 30 and 40, the main thoroughfares in the state. Farm and ranch checks are also major duties of Border Patrol Agents in Arkansas. This is because in this large swatch of land, many farms and ranches still hire migrant farm workers and ranch hands without determining if they are legally allowed to work in the U.S. The duty of Border Patrol Agents in Arkansas is to check if the workers have the necessary papers to work legally in the country.
If Arkansas Border Patrol jobs seem like the career path that you would like to follow then you need to be prepared for an arduous and lengthy selection process which can take anywhere from 6 to 9 months. The first step is to determine if you meet the basic qualifications to become an entry-level Border Patrol Agent. To be considered, you must: 1) Be under age 40 unless you are a qualified Veterans’ Preference eligible candidate or have previous Federal law enforcement experience; 2) Be a U.S. citizen and resident of the U.S. for the past three years; 3) Be fluent in Spanish or be able to learn the Spanish language; 4) Possess a valid Arkansas driver’s license; and 5) Pass a thorough background investigation, medical examination, fitness test, drug test, and physical fitness test-2.
All prospective applicants also need to have at least one year experience (paid or unpaid) on a job that enables you to take charge and make sound judgments even under extremely stressful situations. The experience should also show that you are able to gather factual information through questioning, observation, and examination of documents. If you do not have this experience then you can substitute it with education. At the entry-level, applicants meet the requirements if they have a bachelor’s degree. A combination of experience and education can be used to meet the requirements.
Border Patrol Agents are law enforcers who must carry a weapon. Thus, if you have a record of past or present arrests and/or convictions (including misdemeanor domestic violence charges), you will be disqualified from further consideration. You could also be rated unfit for the job if you got dismissed from previous jobs; have debts and financial issues; used alcohol excessively; or was involved in illegal drugs.
Openings for Border Patrol jobs in Arkansas are posted on the USAJOBS (www.usajobs.gov) website. You need to have an account with this official Federal government portal if you want to send your application through the site. Be sure to read the entire announcement carefully as it will give you the duties, qualifications and evaluations, benefits, salary, and application procedures that you need to follow.
You need to pass a pre-test and then the Border Patrol Agent Entrance Examination to proceed to the next steps in the selection process. If you are successful in these tests, your name will be placed in the Border Patrol Agent inventory. When there are openings, the CBP will send you a tentative selection letter and you will have to comply with the other steps in the hiring process. A firm offer of employment will be given to you only after you have successfully passed the background investigation, polygraph testing, drug testing, and other evaluations.
All new trainees are required to attend intensive training at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, NM. This will take about 11 weeks. You need to pass all your subjects, including a physical fitness test and the Spanish language course to continue employment as a Border Patrol Agent.
If you are still unsure about becoming a Border Patrol Agent in Arkansas, you can talk to a Border Patrol recruiter in the New Orleans Sector. He or she will be able to answer your questions and guide you through the application process as well. The phone number is (504) 376-2830.