National Border Patrol Museum Displays the Continued Sophistication of Those Entering the U.S. Illegally

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 25

By Mark Krikorian and David Ham on October 14, 2021

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The National Border Patrol Museum captures the history and mission of the U.S. Border Patrol dating back to the creation of the agency in 1924. Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, recently visited the unique museum, located in El Paso, Texas, and spoke with its president.

This museum, funded entirely by private donations, displays border surveillance and transportation equipment and other tools used on both the northern and southern borders by agents and by those attempting to illegally enter or smuggle people or drugs across the border. The museum also houses an extensive archival collection of Border Patrol documents, including a memo from WWII regarding the potential of entry of Axis agents through the southern border.

David Ham, president of the National Border Patrol Museum and a retired agent of over 30 years, talks with Krikorian about the role of Border Patrol and the museum’s collection, which includes an OH-6A helicopter used by Border patrol aviation agents, a jet ski, a motorized hang glider, and a homemade raft used by Cuban refugees. A memorial room displays the pictures of agents who have lost their lives in the line of duty, reminding visitors of the risks Border Patrol agents face every day. In the closing commentary, Krikorian highlights DHS Secretary Mayorkas’ issuance this week of a memorandum ending worksite enforcement initiatives, displaying a further retreat by this administration from enforcement of immigration laws.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


David Ham, President of the National Border Patrol Museum.


National Border Patrol Museum


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".