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Securing the Borders: Creation of the Border Patrol Auxiliary

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Research paper

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Although the U.S. Border Patrol is the largest uniformed federal law enforcement agency in the country, its resources appear to be far short of what is required to truly accomplish its mandate. Most of the Customs and Border Protections CBP 30,000 officers operate in the nations 314 land, air, and seaports of entry, where they admit an average 1.2 million legal visitors a day. A majority of the border remains void of barriers, surveillance, and the presence of Border Patrol agents. The government demonstrated its commitment to improved border security in 2006 with an 11 increase in the CBPs budget, now over 7 billion. But the new money is dedicated to several initiatives and only pays for an additional 1,500 border patrol agents. Public demand for action to meet border patrol requirements compelled the President to order the deployment of 6,000 National Guardsmen to the Mexican border as part of Operation Jump Start. While fences and new technologies such as ground sensors and unmanned aerial vehicles will enhance the reach of existing agents, nothing would close the gap better than creating a program to increase the number of agents along the border. Citizen auxiliaries have ample precedence in assisting law enforcement agencies. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, and many other police auxiliaries have long and successful histories. Several volunteer groups have sprung up in recent years to help patrol the border. The Border Patrol has publicly welcomed their efforts as observers but operationally kept them at arms length. This paper evaluates the feasibility of establishing a civilian auxiliary within the Border Patrol. By examining the missions, authorities, costs, legal foundations, and organizational cultures of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary, The authors can identify elements key to developing a successful auxiliary program.

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  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Civil Defense

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