San Diego sector of U.S. Border Patrol reintroduces horse patrol units

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Over the last four decades, the San Diego sector has created a variety of specialty units to further the mission of the U.S. Border Patrol, one of those units involves horses.

Mounted watchmen of the U.S. Immigration Service patrolled the border as early as 1904, where their work was based on need and only when resources allowed.

By March of 1915, congress authorized a separate group of mounted guards who largely pursued Chinese immigrants trying to avoid the Chinese exclusion laws. So their role was focused on customs violations rather than enforcing immigration.

It wasn’t until 1924 that congress passed the Labor Appropriation Act officially establishing the U.S. Border Patrol for the purpose of securing the borders between inspection stations.

Today the San Diego Sector Horse Patrol unit has 12 agents assigned with a total of 19 horses.

The horse patrol unit covers from the Pacific Ocean, Imperial Beach Station, to East of Boulevard and from the international border to South of San Clemente. This is roughly 60 linear miles in both directions, and terrain that changes from beach to mountain.

Protecting our border is a round the clock job, which means these agents have to be ready for day or night patrols. Something horses have a special ability to do.

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