Find California Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices. Border patrol offices provide information about border security along our borders (Canadian and Mexican border), illegal immigration, and border patrol hiring.
The U.S. Border Patrol is a law enforcement agency charged with protecting the nation's borders by preventing the illegal entry of aliens and contraband into the United States. The Border Patrol is a division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is one agency within the Department of Homeland Security. The agency's top priority is preventing terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the country, and other critical tasks include preventing human trafficking, drug trafficking, and threats to U.S. agriculture from pests and disease. Border Patrol agents exercise a significant degree of authority to search, interrogate, and apprehend persons arriving at any U.S. port of entry or passing between ports of entry. All inbound air, marine, road, and rail traffic is subject to checks by Border Patrol agents.
The Border Patrol is responsible for patrolling approximately 6,000 miles of land on the borders with Mexico and Canada, as well as 2,000 miles of coastal waters around Florida and Puerto Rico. The agency employs more than 20,000 agents to protect the nation's borders. Border Patrol agents monitor airports, railroads, and ports with cross-border traffic, and agents frequently set up traffic checkpoints on highways leading to borders.
Border Patrol agents use a variety of techniques and strategies to patrol the borders. Surveillance activities include visually monitoring sections of the border for illegal entrants or signs of illegal passage. In areas with difficult terrain, horse and bike patrols or aircraft surveillance may be used. The Border Patrol uses advanced technology to patrol areas where the border is less discernable, including electronic sensors, video monitors, and night vision scopes.
The Border Patrol also operates several specialized units. The Tactical Unit is a rapid response unit deployed for high-risk incidents. The Search, Trauma, and Rescue Unit carries out search and rescue missions for agents along the U.S. border. These two units are directed by the Border Patrol Special Operations Group, which aids the Department of Homeland Security, CBP, and Border Patrol by quickly responding to emergent and uncommon law enforcement situations that require special tactics and techniques, including emergency medical response and search and rescue.