El Centro Station
221 West Aten Road
Imperial, CA 92251
Phone: (760) 337-7100
Fax: (760) 337-7291
History and Area of Responsibility
In 1925, a permanent El Centro station headquarters was established and a Border Patrol Chief was assigned. He was to be assisted by an Immigration Inspector. During this period, the station was located at Fourth and Main Streets in El Centro, California. Other stations were established at Westmorland and Niland. The entire force was increased to 30 officers.
In 1934, the El Centro Station/Headquarters was moved to a new location on Imperial Avenue at Broadway and a new Chief Patrol Inspector was placed in charge. A new position was created, Assistant Chief Patrol Inspector. From 1934 to 1938, additional stations were established at Needles, Blythe, Yuma, and Parker, Arizona. Additional men were hired to increase the working force to 60 officers.
In 1938, a five acre block on north Imperial Avenue in El Centro, California was acquired from the county and plans were made for a new headquarters building at this new location. The Calexico Station was established in 1939. By 1941, the total force of officers had been increased to 70 and construction was started on the new building and was completed in 1945.
During the 1940's a heavy influx of illegal alien laborers began. All officers of the El Centro Station were engaged in traffic check, train check and ranch check. The Brawley Station was opened at this time to relieve the workload at El Centro. Brawley maintained a 24-hour road check on Highway 86 and 111. This gave the El Centro Station more men to work ranches and trains. This operation was set up to keep illegal aliens from leaving the Imperial Valley and traveling up to northern areas. Additional officers were detailed to El Centro to assist with the large influx of farm laborers entering illegally during the peak harvest season. From 1951 until 1954, additional officers continued to be detailed to the Imperial Valley area as the situation demanded. At the beginning of the alien drive in May of 1954, the station's strength was more than doubled by detailed officers. During this period, the El Centro Detention Facility was utilized as a focal point for all aliens apprehended in the Pacific states. El Centro Station personnel were responsible for the screening, disposition and transportation of these aliens by charter and service buses, charter trains and service airplanes, in addition to maintaining a full field of operations. As the situation improved, the detailed officers were returned to their respective stations and El Centro continued in the same operation.
In 1955, a division of force was authorized at El Centro and two separate units were formed - the El Centro Station and El Centro Sector Headquarters. Today, the El Centro Border Patrol Station is responsible for patrolling 34 miles of linear border and 940 square miles of Imperial County, located west of the Calexico, California Port of Entry to the San Diego/Imperial County line. This area of responsibility consists of mountains, desert, and agricultural lands. It also contains 6 communities, with urban population, consisting of approximately 57,000 residents.