Border Patrol, social media, and transnational messaging
Christie, Kathleen Ann
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Since the U.S. Border Patrol was established in 1924, agents have been an integral part of the community and have worked to educate the public on the Border Patrol mission and how they can support it. Outreach campaigns began with such programs as D.A.R.E., Red Ribbon Week, and No Mas Cruces. The campaigns were conducted via schools and traditional media such as radio, television, and print. In 2003, Border Patrol's Public Affairs Office was absorbed into the newly created Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. While Border Patrol conducts public affairs, the messaging is controlled by CBP. The prevalence of social media has provided an inexpensive, high-capacity way for Border Patrol to conduct community engagement. However, CBP retains the authority to approve social media use in an official capacity and only allows Border Patrol to use social media under the CBP umbrella. This thesis argues that Border Patrol should be allowed to use Border Patrol–specific social media accounts for community engagement and to educate the public on the Border Patrol mission. Furthermore, engagement should occur with Canadian and Mexican citizens in their native languages when possible and applicable.
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