Thousands of Women Want to Join Border Patrol, which is Currently 95% Male

Friday, January 02, 2015
(AP photo)

The Border Patrol wants you! Especially if you’re a woman.


The agency in charge of guarding the nation’s border, particularly the southern boundary with Mexico, wants to significantly increase its ranks of female agents. So the Border Patrol launched a campaign to recruit more women, and so far, it has produced 5,500 applications from females.


Currently, women only make up 5% of the Border Patrol. The agency has a total of 21,000 agents and is seeking to add another 1,600, of either gender, through the end of this fiscal year.


Gil Kerlikowske, head of the Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, says the agency could use more female agents to help it perform better.


“As a police chief for a long time, I know that women in law enforcement bring a huge amount of positive to any law enforcement agency, and increasing those numbers for the border patrol will do exactly the same thing,” Kerlikowske told Federal News Radio.


He noted that women bring their own “skills … to the job” that stand apart from what men can do. They “bring a perspective and negotiating skill to law enforcement and to the border patrol that we very much need.”


These skills are particularly important when it comes to dealing with female immigrants, whose numbers increased dramatically in 2013 (173% above 2011’s total).


In many cases, women crossing the border have been raped by human traffickers, making it imperative the Border Patrol have more women on hand to help these individuals.


“They come often times from a country where law enforcement often is not seen as a trusted partner and a friend and an organization that can help them,” Kerlikowske said. “And so, when they see the agents in uniform, we need to establish a level of trust and a level of confidence to these people that have gone through really a horrendous journey to make it into the United States, and we need to make them feel safe. Women do a great job at that.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

5,500 Women Apply To Join Border Patrol (by Michael O’Connell, Federal News Radio)

Border Patrol Recruitment Push Seeks Women (by Perla Trevizo, Arizona Daily Star)

10 Lawsuits Filed against Border Patrol for Abuse (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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