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  • CBP Question

    Hello I have a few quick questions about CBP. I’ve looked at their website it appears to be a large organization with several sub departments/offices…what is the difference between a border patrol agent, a CPB officer, and field operations? For instance is there an official title for the people who check IDs and inspect cars at the border stations? Also who is responsible for port security? When joining CBP do you have a choice of which specific job you get and where you are stationed?

  • #2
    The guys in green are CBP office of border patrol. They are agents and their main job is guarding the borders between ports of entry, mostly at the southern border and across large amoutns of open space.

    The guys in blue are CBP office of field operations. They are officers and are in charge of the ports of entry across the nation and some specialty areas around the world. Including land borders, sea ports, and air ports.

    Then there is CBP office of air and marine interdiction. They wear tan and are agents in charge of assissting the previous two and providing intel from air and sea.

    When you apply, you apply as either a CBP officer, Border Patrol agent, or Air and Marine interdiction agent.

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    • #3
      Thanks a lot for the prompt reply! Btw I take it the guys in the border patrol office only work the southern border interesting. On the New York State/Canadian border all of the guys at the border crossing station wear blue uniforms same thing with the Canadian border in Maine. Perhaps it has something to do with the jurisdiction of the us border patrol before it was folded into CBP

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mr14621 View Post
        Thanks a lot for the prompt reply! Btw I take it the guys in the border patrol office only work the southern border interesting. On the New York State/Canadian border all of the guys at the border crossing station wear blue uniforms same thing with the Canadian border in Maine. Perhaps it has something to do with the jurisdiction of the us border patrol before it was folded into CBP
        Border Patrol works both the northern and southern borders, but they do not work at the border crossings. They work in the open land between border crossings where people aren't supposed to cross.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr14621 View Post
          Thanks a lot for the prompt reply! Btw I take it the guys in the border patrol office only work the southern border interesting. On the New York State/Canadian border all of the guys at the border crossing station wear blue uniforms same thing with the Canadian border in Maine. Perhaps it has something to do with the jurisdiction of the us border patrol before it was folded into CBP
          The Patrol's jurisdiction is the United States and its territories. We work the southern and northern borders as well as puerto rico. We do not work at port of entries where you can legally cross the border.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the clarification.
            Also is it true that field operations has officers that work abroad? If so how likely is it to be stationed outside of the US? And what type of work do they do?

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            • #7
              Yes. Container Security Initiative and Pre Clearance programs. The first one is clearing shipping high-risk containers that are inbound to the US before they leave the source country. The other is interviewing and clearing passengers at foreign airports before they board their flights. Most of your questions can be answered at the official website. CBP.gov
              As far as getting to go overseas, you need to put your time in. It's just like anything, you volunteer and hope you get picked.

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              • #8
                They are instances where you'll find CBPOs working outside the port confines and BPAs working within the ports.

                They would be exceptions, but they're there.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by merlin436 View Post
                  They are instances where you'll find CBPOs working outside the port confines and BPAs working within the ports.

                  They would be exceptions, but they're there.
                  Yeah we had some OFO working at our checkpoint on a detail for quite a while. Also we have worked at the POE on occasion as well. Still our primary duties are between the POEs.
                  Natural selection leaves the survivors stronger and better! Humans have escaped this winnowing for far too long!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Albert Wesker View Post
                    Yeah we had some OFO working at our checkpoint on a detail for quite a while. Also we have worked at the POE on occasion as well. Still our primary duties are between the POEs.

                    Not long ago I had a conversation with a PA in Swanton Sector. Parts of the conversation were more or less along the lines of 'get used to seeing more CBPOs working checkpoints and get used to seeing more PAs at the PoEs'.

                    This particular PA was wearing silver oak leaves...so I'm guessing he should have some sort of insight...at least locally.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by merlin436 View Post
                      Not long ago I had a conversation with a PA in Swanton Sector. Parts of the conversation were more or less along the lines of 'get used to seeing more CBPOs working checkpoints and get used to seeing more PAs at the PoEs'.

                      This particular PA was wearing silver oak leaves...so I'm guessing he should have some sort of insight...at least locally.
                      In San Diego Sector its only volunteers who want to go who live close to the POE so the job does not have to pay them flsa travel. The job can't force a PA go to a POE due to our CBA. Nationally speaking our union could shut down any attempts to force PAs to go POE unless some sort of emergency situation occurs the POE could not deal with on their own.

                      I for one would not care for sitting in a booth breathing exhaust all day at skid row. I enjoy my freedom.
                      Last edited by SHU; 06-05-2012, 10:08 PM. Reason: i felt like it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SHU View Post
                        In San Diego Sector its only volunteers who want to go who live close to the POE so the job does not have to pay them flsa travel. The job can't force a PA go to a POE due to our CBA. Nationally speaking our union could shut down any attempts to force PAs to go POE unless some sort of emergency situation occurs the POE could not deal with on their own.

                        I for one would not care for sitting in a booth breathing exhaust all day at skid row. I enjoy my freedom.
                        How does that apply to southbound ops, out of curiosity?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SHU View Post
                          In San Diego Sector its only volunteers who want to go who live close to the POE so the job does not have to pay them flsa travel. The job can't force a PA go to a POE due to our CBA. Nationally speaking our union could shut down any attempts to force PAs to go POE unless some sort of emergency situation occurs the POE could not deal with on their own.

                          I for one would not care for sitting in a booth breathing exhaust all day at skid row. I enjoy my freedom.

                          Do they really have PAs working primary booths in SYS? That to me would be a setup for a disaster in the making along the lines of Andrew Speaker.

                          On the other hand, putting CBPOs in situations where the 4th amendment reigns unrestricted and where there obvious officer safety issues makes little sense either...and I've personally seen that.

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                          • #14
                            There's not PA's working primary.

                            They basically help with outbound and pederstrian operations.

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                            • #15
                              Just give cbp some time. Whether its out or inbound, working that place or otay or tecate just plain sucks. I have personally seen the sups at skid row eager to take complaints from tangos against the officers who work there.

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