Patrolling the border with agent Doty

May 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

Agent Doty

An evening with Border agent Daniel Doty

Story: Kaitlyn Wells
Photos: Andrew Rogers
Volume II, Issue 3 (Crossing Borders)

HIDALGO, TX — Depicted as overzealous security guards by some, the United States Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol team provides a greater service than meets the eye.

Border Patrol agents live a rugged lifestyle while on the job, spending most of their time outdoors. For Daniel Doty, who has served for 11 years as a Border Patrol spokesperson in the Rio Grande Valley, that’s the best part.

“You see everything in this job,” said Doty, who had begun his work that morning at 4 a.m. Now nearly 15 hours later, Doty was still energized as he discussed the most recent threats he and other agents had faced.

Last month, Doty and other border patrol agents confiscated 100 pounds of cocaine. Two weeks later, they apprehended 60 individuals crossing illegally, Doty said.

“When the sun goes down, it gets very dangerous in this area,” he said. Illegal immigrants often throw pipes, rocks the size of dinner plates and any other debris they can find when attempting to ward off the agents, Doty said.

Doty has worn a uniform for 23 years, serving in several branches of law enforcement. He first donned a uniform when joining the Marine Corps in 1982 after graduating from high school. He worked as a Texas prison guard in 1984 before joining the Michigan police force in 1986.

After returning to Texas in the mid 1990s, Doty developed two working plans: to attend law school at the University of Houston or to join in on the border effort. “The Border Patrol called first,” he joked.

Border security has been at the top of the agenda for many Washington officials in the last few years, as the debate over the construction of a fence along the U.S.-Mexico Border continues.

While Doty said only the Department of Homeland Security knows what materials the actual structure will be built from, Doty describes the new security system as “border barriers,” not meant to stop, but to slow illegal immigrants down.

“Where there aren’t levees, we’ve asked for fencing; not concrete walls or anything,” he said. “It’s not to say ‘You know what, we don’t want you here,’ but it’s to identify the people coming over.”

The Border Patrol’s efforts work to protect all human life, Doty said. “I don’t want to see anyone lose their life just because they want to come here,” he said.

For Doty, who worked for a long time in Michigan, the border is a special place for him, and he truly does love his job, he said.

“I know it’s a corny saying, but we are protecting America,” he said. “We’re here to defend America, and that’s the truth.”

Entry filed under: Crossing Borders 2008. Tags: , , , , .

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