The Origin Story Of The Border Patrol Is Not What You Think

Border Patrol

The U.S. border has been a topic of conversation for many years. Some states have taken it upon themselves to put further border measures in place, and former President Trump even began building a wall.

But the border is primarily secured by the U.S. Border Patrol. However, their agency was not initially created to protect the border from illegal immigrants from Mexico, drugs, and guns. Instead, the Border Patrol was created to stop Chinese immigration through the U.S. -Mexico border.

Patrol Creation

The guard was first created in 1904 in El Paso, Texas, though it was not called the Border Patrol. Instead, it was called the Mounted Guards and consisted of 75 horsemen who rode the border between El Paso and California to stop the waves of Chinese immigrants coming into the U.S.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress. While Chinese immigrants were welcomed with open arms during the Gold Rush, after it was over, they lost public favor.

Mounted Guards, U.S. troops, and Texas Rangers watched the border, keeping watch for Chinese immigrants trying to get into the U.S. The Mounted Guards were renamed the Mounted Inspectors in 1915.

Though they now had Congressional authority, they had to supply their horses. They worked to capture those committing customs violations and stopped illegal immigration. Though stopping custom violators was the priority.

Modern Day Patrol

In 1924, the Border Patrol was created. They were created to help with Prohibition objectives and monitoring those coming into the United States legally.

When it came to Prohibition, they protected both the northern and southern borders. They operated out of Detroit to keep illegal immigration under control and stop illegal Canadian Whiskey from coming over the border.

The border was protected by 450 agents. Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico, and killed the people living there in 1925, but the city did not get any Border Patrol agents until 1927. The men guarded 135 miles of the border on their own.

Today, the Border Patrol has 21,370 agents. They work to protect the 19,000 miles of northern and southern borders in the U.S. They also patrol the Caribbean.

Border Patrol has its own SWAT team and search and rescue teams. There is a 13-21 week course and 12-16 weeks of training to become a Border Patrol agent. Then, they can be called agents.

Sources: 1, 2

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