The Border Patrol is a body which is federally mandated to enforce border laws in the United States. The main mission of the Border Patrol is to prevent entry of illegal aliens into the country. To achieve this, Border Patrol agents are usually stationed at legal border entry points as well as patrol other areas of the border where illegal crossings are known to take place.
In addition to preventing entry of illegal aliens, the Border Patrol also has a role in preventing illegal contraband and human trafficking into and out of the United States. The Border Patrol is the law enforcement arm of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency, which is a component of the Department of Homeland Security.
The United States Border Patrol’s inception was in 1924, and its mission was similar as it is today. However, the body has grown in terms of numbers of officers on the ground as well as the techniques used in detecting and preventing illegal border crossings or human trafficking. Currently, the US Border Patrol has over 21,000 agents, which makes it one of the largest law enforcement groups in the country.
The Border Patrol usually comes up with updated strategies on how to accomplish its missions. A major change to the national strategy occurred in 2005, when its strategy was updated to have objectives including deterrence of illegal entries through improved enforcement, reducing crime in border communities and improving quality of life, using smart border technology, the use of new technology in detection and apprehension of smugglers and contraband and identification/apprehension of terrorists and weapons illegally entering the country. This was in the wake of increased terrorism threats around the globe.