Currently there are 21,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents, of which only a mere 5% are women. This statistic is a sinister reflection of the imbalance between men and women in professional fields here in the United States. Recognizing this imbalance, the Border Patrol agency has enacted a 10 day recruiting period exclusively aimed at women. The agency states that they are presently seeking to diversify. Diversification is not the only upside that hiring more females will bring to Border Patrol, however.
In recent years, more and more women have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. Rates of female immigrants are up from 2011 by nearly 36%. Often when an illegal immigrant is rescued or detained by Border Patrol, they must be searched. Having men conduct these searches on female immigrants proves to be very uncomfortable and degrading for them. Having more female officers on staff to carry out searches would ease this discomfort, and provide them with a slight sense of relief. Women generally tend to gravitate towards other women and, especially when she is carrying a child with her, having other females around may seem less menacing for a woman than being surrounded by solely men. According to Amnesty International, 6 out of every 10 female illegal immigrants are sexually assaulted when attempting to cross the border. By hiring more female employees to look out for other women, Border Patrol hopes these numbers will drop.
The few women who already work for U.S. Border Patrol speak of their jobs highly. They report that the treatment is good and fair; both male and female agents must adhere to the same requirements. Women are not cut any slack, and are expected to be just as athletic and strong-minded as their male counterparts. Monica Slack, who has been an agent since 2003, says, “Once we put on the uniform, we’re all the same. And that is extremely appealing to me.” Becoming a Border Patrol agent can advance a woman’s leadership abilities, and give her an opportunity to preform many types of field work. Agents get the chance to exploit ATVs, horses, and many other kinds of tools.
For more information about the hiring process please visit: http://www.cbp.gov/careers/prepare-apply