On the outskirts of El Paso, just off Hwy 54 headed north towards Alamogordo, lies the U.S. Border Patrol Museum. This free museum is not sponsored by the government, but it does give a good insight to what the Border Patrol does on all our borders.
There were mounted watchmen on the borders as early as 1904, though it wasn’t made official until 1924. It originally began in El Paso in light of the 1882 National Orders Act and stretched as far as the California coast to keep out illegal immigrants from across the ocean. The official first Border Patrol station was in Detroit, MI, but was soon followed with one in El Paso.
The Border Patrol agents have to use multiple methods of transportation. Starting first with horses, then moving up to other vehicles through the years.
They used whatever they could get their hands on.
Both major borders are patrolled and there are often weapons that have to be confiscated.
Though, during Prohibition, they also had to patrol Niagara Falls if it froze to keep bootleggers from Canada from carrying over the forbidden liquor.
Those trying to get in via our southern border often have to trek across great, sandy locations that easily show foot prints. The BP often goes out and drags heavy tires behind their vehicles to flatten out such areas so that they can spot foot prints. Some people have tried to get around this by trying to disguise their foot prints.
It isn’t just human traffic trying to cross the borders. Often, there are drugs involved as well. Here are a couple home made backpacks that were being used to smuggle marijuana.
Humans aren’t the only ones working to keep our borders safe. Many times, dogs are used to sniff for any type of illegal substance or for people trying to enter illegally.
The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesdays through Saturdays and runs on donations. A great place to learn about the history of our US Border Patrol and to get a glimpse of what it takes to keep all our borders secure.