One of the major issues facing the United States today is border safety and immigration. Many states are facing difficult decisions in dealing with illegal immigration, safety and security, and how to best meet the demands placed on the states. The bulk of the responsibility, however, lies with the federal government. The latest Obama budget proposal seeks to address these concerns.
Criminal justice professionals wishing to help the United States fight the war on terrorism are presented rising opportunities for employment with the Department of Homeland Security through the latest budget proposal.
Border patrol and border safety are specifically addressed in the new proposal which includes an additional 300 border patrol agents to the already 21, 370 employed, a quarter of a billion dollars to be spent on Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers to properly prepare agents for their duties, and a new port of entry in Columbus, New Mexico. Forty-three million of this will go directly to training border patrol agents & customs agents. These initiatives will help strengthen the US border while at the same time facilitating trade between the US and Mexico.
In addition, New Mexico Tech will receive an allotment of $11.125 million dollars in which to train first responders in anti-terrorism hazards (biological, chemical, radiological and explosive events) as part of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium.
The budget proposal outlines a number of opportunities for individuals wishing to pursue a career in criminal justice by opening jobs within Homeland Security for customs or border patrol agents. Educational institutions are also stepping up to meet the new challenges being presented by the war on terrorism by providing degrees specifically dedicated to working customs or border patrol. With increased funding through state and federal government, law enforcement agencies can also better prepare their employees to meet these demands.
Current training requirements for most border patrol or customs jobs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a homeland security degree. Border patrol agents must be 40 years of age or younger (minimum of 21 years old), be a US citizen, and have a clean criminal history. Agents also have to undergo agency specific training in which to be a sworn officer.
With the budget proposal directly addressing the need for increased security, as well as the continued efforts to stop terrorist activities, this is an opportune time for criminal justice professionals to advance their careers through increased educational and employment opportunities.