The Erie station of the United States Customs and Border Patrol opened it's doors in 2004, focusing on the border between the United States and Canada.
The U.S. border covered by the Erie station of the United States Customs and Border Patrol is unique compared to other borders. Agents say it's a whole new ball game from where they came from.
In November 2002, The Homeland Security Act combined 22 federal agencies and went in to effect because of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Because of the international border between the U.S. and Canada, the U.S. Border Patrol started operating in our own back yard.
Many agents stationed in Erie made their way here from the southern border. They worked along the border between the U.S and Mexico in Arizona where thousands of illegal immigrants attempt to enter the United States.
But once they moved to Erie, these agents had to adapt to a different landscape.
The international border between the U.S. and Canada falls in Lake Erie, creating it's own set of challenges.
On average, the Erie station agents apprehend 550 illegal immigrants a year. Forty percent are from Mexico. And since 2009, 119 countries have been represented by illegal immigrants arrested in Erie.
Border patrol agents typically come from the southwestern U.S. border to Erie.