By: Claudia Tristán, KFOX14
EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) - A surprisingly small number of women make up the number of U.S. Border Patrol agents.
While women make up about half of the country’s population, they represent an incredibly small fraction of agents that protect our country as part of the U.S. Border Patrol.
Agent Gracie Borjas joined the U.S. Border Patrol in 2010 after her older brother challenged her to jump in.
“My brother, cousins, they were the ones that influenced me. It’s been a good journey so far,” Borjas said.
Borjas is one of the only 4.9 percent of women in the U.S. Border Patrol.
“We’re actually the lowest in all of the nation when it comes to law enforcement,” said Erika King, another U.S. Border Patrol agent.
King said the gender gap has the agency working to target more women to join.
“I know for a fact that females are a special emphasis group that they’re trying to focus on. They’re trying to recruit at more female-oriented career fairs, for example,” King said.
But that doesn’t mean they’re going to change the rules to help close the gender gap.
“When it comes to the academy, the females and the males, they don’t differentiate when it comes to the standards. They will have to do the same as the males,” King said.
For Borjas, a new mother, the journey hasn’t been easy.
“It is tough because we do not get maternity leave and we do have to take time off. I did take almost six months off, but I did take leave without pay,” Borjas said.
But overall, she says it’s been a rewarding experience.
“If you’re up for the challenge, I would say ‘Come and join.’ This is a very good job; I’m blessed to have this job,” Borjas said.