Border Patrol

The United States Border Patrol: An Overview

United States Border Patrol is the largest law enforcement arm of the U.S Customs and Border Protection under the Department of Homeland Security. It is responsible for securing the U.S Borders between the ports of entry and was officially established on May 28, 1924, to control illegal immigration and human smuggling. However, since the 9/11 attacks, the focus of the Border Patrol has changed to the detection and deterrence of terrorists and their activities. Although Border Patrol has changed a lot over time, The mission since the time of its inception has been to prevent the illegal entry of individuals and goods into the United States. The United States Border Patrol is responsible for patrolling the Mexican and Canadian Land Borders and also the coastal waters of the Florida Peninsula and Puerto Rico. During the 1980s and 1990s, illegal immigration to the U.S was on the rise.

During this time, the U.S Border Patrol employed infrared night-vision telescopes, seismic sensors, and computing technologies to locate people trying to cross into the U.S illegally. Operation ‘Gatekeeper’ was implemented in 1994, which reduced illegal entries by three-quarters. The Patrol also established anti-smuggling units and search rescue teams soon after. In 1998, the U.S Border Patrol also started The Border Safety Initiative with the cooperation of the Mexican Government. After the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security was established, of which the U.S Border Patrol became a part.

U.S Border Patrol

The staff of the U.S Border Patrol has significantly improved since its inception, and it has a workforce of over 20,000 agents as of now. The safety and security of the borders are accomplished by struct surveillance, electronic sensor alarms, and through aircraft sightings. Electronic sensors, Video monitors, and night vision cameras are placed at strategic locations along the diverse terrains of the Border to detect people or vehicles attempting to enter. The Border Patrol also maintains the traffic at highway checkpoints along the Border areas and carries out anti-smuggling investigations. They also employ boats, aircraft, drones, and submarines for their operations. In some places, they also use horses, motorcycles, bicycles, or snowmobiles for daily patrol.

The U.S Border Patrol is also responsible for fighting Human Trafficking. The Border Patrol works alongside local law enforcement units such as the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, and other non-profit organizations to successfully integrate victims of human trafficking into normal life. Human trafficking is still prevalent in the modern world, with victims trapped and exploited for slavery, sex, forced labor, and marriage. Women and girls are the biggest victims, with more than 99% trafficked by the sex industry. To identify human trafficking victims, the Border Patrol looks out for signs such as lack of identification documents, restrictions to socializing, deprivation of basic living necessities, signs of physical assault, fearful demeanor, presence of older abusive men, etc.  


How the United States Immigration System Works?

The fundamental principle of the U.S. immigration system is to reunify families, protect the refugees, promote diversity, and admit skilled people who will provide value to the U.S. economy.

The Immigration and National Act (INA), the law that governs the immigration law of the U.S., provides 675,000 permanent immigrant visas per year. Additionally, the president and congress admit an annual number of refugees through the U.S. Refugee Admission program.

Also, a person can become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) by coming to the U.S. after obtaining a permanent visa. A person who obtains LPR can apply for all jobs and stay in the country even if they are unemployed. Along with this, the U.S. offers many visas for non-citizens temporarily. These non-immigrant visas can help students, tourists, and temporary workers to remain in the country for years.

You can also immigrate to the U.S. using the following immigration systems:


Family–Based Immigration

One of the principles of the U.S. immigration system is family unification. This immigration system allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to bring some of their family members to the county. If you are a U.S citizen, an unlimited number of visas are provided to immediate family members. But the prospective members must meet some eligibility criteria, and the petitioners must meet some financial requirements. The relative who can apply for a visa are:

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen.
  • Unmarried children of U.S citizens who are under twenty-one years old.
  • Parents of U.S. citizens who are above twenty-one years.

To control the number of immigrants who are arriving based on the family system, congress has established some laws. According to the rule, the number of family-based visas allocated through preference should be at least 226,000. And the numbers of visas given to immediate relatives exceed 250,000 every year. Thus, the number of family-based visas provided will be about 480,000.

To get admitted for a family-based migration system, the petitioner needs to establish the legitimacy of the relationship with the relative, meet the income requirement, and sign an affidavit stating that the sponsor will be finically responsible for the relative. The relative should also pass some criteria, including:

  • Submit to a medical exam.
  • Doing required vaccinations.
  • Checking of criminal history.

Employee based Immigration

The United States offers various ways for people with skills to come to the country, including:

Temporary visa classifications

The temporary employment-based visa enables employers to hire people from foreign countries for particular jobs for a fixed period. The employees, who come under this visa, will have to work under the same employers mostly and cannot change their jobs. Currently, there are more than 20 types of visas that are available for temporary workers.

employment-based Immigration

Permanent employment-based Immigration

The annual number of visas granted based on permanent employment-based Immigration is 140,000. This number includes the immigrants, along with their spouses and minor children. This means that the number of visas will be less than 140,000.

Do you want to immigrate or bring your family to the United States? If yes, then go through the immigration system of the country and see how you can navigate through the complex process.