Border Patrol Established

May 28th, 1924

United States


On May 28, 1924, Congress passed a law that established the U.S. Border Patrol to prevent migrants from crossing the borders from Mexico and Canada without authorization. In the 1950s, the Border Patrol started Operation Wetback (see also: Operation Wetback, 1954), a major deportation program, to send undocumented migrants back to Mexico. Today, the Border Patrol spans twenty “sectors,” divided between the northern and southern borders with one additional “sector” in Puerto Rico. Human rights abuses and unwarranted killings of migrants crossing the border by the Border Patrol have been the focus of numerous local and national campaigns for greater accountability while conservative forces have called for increased militarization of the border.