La Feria News

100 Years of Service: US Border Patrol & Texas Country Music Festival

By Mike Villarreal

The US Border Patrol was created in 1924 and has a legacy of service to our country since its inception. As early as 1904 there were watchmen on horseback who patrolled the border to prevent illegal crossings but with irregular efforts and limited resources available it was not enough at times.

These inspectors operated out of El Paso, Texas with a limited staff of 75, they patrolled as far west as California to try and restrict the influx of illegal Chinese immigrants.

Jeff Milton who has been known as “the first Border Patrolman ‘, became a Texas Ranger in 1879 and later joined the US Immigration Service, retiring in 1932.

On May 28, 1924, congress passed the Labor Proposition Act of 1924 which officially established the US Border Patrol with the purpose of securing the borders in between inspection stations and its duties were also expanded to patrol the seacoast as well.

The Bureau of Immigration and Bureau of Naturalization Service were combined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. By 1934 the first academy for Border Patrol opened as a training school at Camp Chigas, El Paso. By 1935 the Border Patrol made the transition from horses to motorized vehicles with radios. However, the rough terrain warranted the need for quiet and quick transportation guaranteed the need for horses to patrol which are still used to this day.

In 1952 legislation allowed Border Patrol agents to board and search vehicles for illegal immigrants anywhere in the United States and were also subject to arrest for the first time in the history of the Border Patrol. The 1980s and 1990s saw a great increase in illegal migration to America. The Border Patrol in kind responded with the use of modern technology and an increase in manpower. The introduction of seismic sensors, infrared night vision scopes, and modern computer processing systems helped the Border Patrol in locating, apprehending, and processing those crossing into the US illegally.

With the attacks of September 11, 2001, Homeland Security became a primary concern of the nation. On March 1, 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established with the US Border Patrol becoming part of US Customs and Border Protection, a part of DHS.

To this day the US Border Patrol continues its legacy to control our nation’s borders. With leaps in technology and the modernization of the Patrol, new agents can integrate this technology and apply it to border protection.

Every day new and specialized technology is being created within the Border Patrol to assist agents in completing their mission of the Border Patrol. The US Border Patrol s future promises to be as exciting and interesting as its past and will always echo the motto that agents have lived by since 1924 (Honor First).

The Rio Grande Valley Sector Morales, Welfare and Recreation Association is proud tp present th Texas Country Music Festival for first responders in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the United States Border Patrol. Our green family is excited to celebrate this momentous occasion with our frontline partners. Make sure to come out for an evening of Texas country featuring Cory Morrow, Coffey Anderson, RUSTIC Rose, and JR Castillo.

The TX Country Music Festival (Centennial Edition) will take place on Friday April 19, 2024, at the Rio Grande Valley Show Grounds. Don’t miss out on this event to come out and support our first responders and the US Border Patrol while listening to some Texas Country and dance the night away.

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