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Friday, June 14, 2024

U.S. Border Patrol Celebrates 100th Anniversary

The U.S. Border Patrol is marking its centennial year with a series of public events in El Paso, Texas, to honor a century of dedication to protecting the nation’s borders.

“This year, the United States Border Patrol reaches its centennial year: a rare milestone marking our ability to overcome every challenge, endure every hardship, and win every battle along the way,” said U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens. “It is an homage to our collective resilience across a difficult journey through time. On this important occasion, we recognize, honor, and thank the tens of thousands who have selflessly donned the Border Patrol uniform or stood beside those who have.”

For 100 years, Border Patrol agents have been entrusted with the mission of securing the American people through vigilant border and national security efforts. While laws, threats, and challenges have evolved, the Border Patrol’s core values of vigilance, service to country, and integrity have remained steadfast.

From mid-May to early June, the U.S. Border Patrol will commemorate this milestone with events nationwide, with El Paso, Texas, as the central location. El Paso’s significance stems from being home to “Station One,” which opened its doors in 1924. The local community’s integral role in the Border Patrol’s history makes it a fitting place to celebrate this centennial.

“While we are looking back and recognizing the proud and storied history of the United States Border Patrol, it is also a time to chart our future and the path forward,” added Chief Owens. “We will continue to recruit the best possible people to join our ranks and equip them with the tools and training they need to carry the torch ahead for the next 100 years.”

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony Scott Good emphasized the historical significance, stating, “El Paso is such a fitting place to commemorate this significant milestone, it is where the legend began. So many foundational events in the Border Patrol’s history occurred right here in El Paso – like advancements that have impacted our operations nationwide to this day.”

A Brief Look at USBP History

The United States Border Patrol’s history reflects the growth of the nation as an international force during the 20th century. The origins of Border Patrol date back to 1904 when mounted watchmen of the U.S. Immigration Service patrolled the border to prevent illegal crossings. These inspectors operated out of El Paso, Texas, patrolling as far west as California to restrict illegal Chinese immigration. The need for a coordinated border effort grew, particularly with Prohibition and expanded immigration restrictions. In 1924, Congress officially established the U.S. Border Patrol through the Labor Appropriation Act to secure borders between inspection stations.

By 1932, the Border Patrol was under two directors, one in El Paso for the Mexican border and another in Detroit for the Canadian border. The first Border Patrol Academy opened in 1934 in El Paso, training recruits in marksmanship and horsemanship. By 1935, motorized vehicles with radios became common, supplementing horseback patrols.

Throughout WWII, the Border Patrol provided tighter control of the border, manned detention camps, and assisted in searching for Axis saboteurs. Post-war, legislation in 1952 expanded the Border Patrol’s authority. By the 1960s, human smuggling evolved to include drug trafficking, prompting the Border Patrol to intercept illegal drugs from Mexico. The 1980s and 1990s saw a surge in illegal migration, leading to operations like “Hold the Line” in El Paso in 1993 and “Gatekeeper” in San Diego in 1994, significantly reducing illegal entries.

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, border security became a national priority. In 2003, the U.S. Border Patrol became part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection under the Department of Homeland Security. The 21st century has seen the integration of advanced technology to assist agents in fulfilling their mission. Cooperation with neighboring countries continues to enhance border safety and law enforcement.

The Future of U.S. Border Patrol

Today, the U.S. Border Patrol is a sophisticated force of almost 19,000 agents, employing advanced technology to manage and protect over 8,000 miles of land and coastal U.S. borders. Its mission to prevent unauthorized entries and uphold national security remains as vital as ever. As the Border Patrol celebrates its centennial, it honors its rich history while looking forward to continuing its legacy of vigilance, service, and integrity for the next 100 years.

author avatar
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.
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Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon
Matt Seldon, BSc., is an Editorial Associate with HSToday. He has over 20 years of experience in writing, social media, and analytics. Matt has a degree in Computer Studies from the University of South Wales in the UK. His diverse work experience includes positions at the Department for Work and Pensions and various responsibilities for a wide variety of companies in the private sector. He has been writing and editing various blogs and online content for promotional and educational purposes in his job roles since first entering the workplace. Matt has run various social media campaigns over his career on platforms including Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn on topics surrounding promotion and education. His educational campaigns have been on topics including charity volunteering in the public sector and personal finance goals.

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