More Than 1 in 3 CBP Employees Are of Hispanic Origin

Susan Jones | December 21, 2011 | 9:44am EST
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A Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol agent pats down a man before he is returned to Mexico. (Photo: CBP/Gerald L. Nino)

( - In a year-end tally, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is touting the "expanding" diversity in its ranks.

Through "diversity recruitment initiatives" and "outreach to underrepresented groups," the agency says it grew its workforce in fiscal 2011 to a total of 59,820 employees -- 29,013 of them minorities.

"Within our workforce, diversity and inclusion remain priorities and important themes that run throughout the agency," CBP said in a Dec. 19 news releasae.

CBP says 35 percent of its workforce is Hispanic. The percentage of females in the Border Patrol division rose 2.2 percent, and military veterans accounted for almost 20 percent of newly hired agents.

CBP says it “remains focused on eliminating barriers that restrict equal employment for all individuals and promoting an environment of cultural appreciation and awareness which supports the diversity and inclusiveness of our workforce." 

In FY 2011, the agency says it sponsored more than 340 U.S. military veteran hiring events, 124 events at institutions serving minorities, 90 disability events, and more than 650 other events to increase workplace diversity for underrepresented groups.

It also created a "gateway" to put wounded veterans on fast-track placement within CBP. As a result of this program, five individuals landed permanent positions with CBP.

Other notes from CBP's yearend roundup:

U.S. Border Patrol apprehensions between ports of entry -- described as a key indicator of illegal immigration -- decreased to 340,252 in fiscal year 2011, down 53 percent since FY 2008 and one fifth of what they were at their peak in FY 2000.

CBP also says it denied entry to more than 215,600 people attempting to enter the U.S. through an air, land or sea port who were found inadmissible for immigration, customs, health, criminal or national security reasons.

Additionally, CBP officers at ports of entry arrested 8,195 people wanted for crimes, including murder, rape, assault, and robbery; and U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 87,334 people who had a record in the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, a law enforcement database of individuals with criminal charges and convictions.

As a result of pre-departure screening efforts overseas, more than 3,100 individuals were denied boarding onto U.S.-bound aircraft at foreign airports. CBP said these individuals would not have been allowed into the U.S. because of national security concerns and document fraud, among other problems. CBP officers processed more than 15 million travelers at 15 pre-clearance locations this year.

Also in fiscal year 2011, CBP says it seized nearly five million pounds of narcotics and more than $126 million in undeclared currency. CBP processed nearly $2.3 trillion in trade transactions.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is part of the Department of Homeland Security.
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