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  5. San Diego Sector California

San Diego Sector California

Welcome to the San Diego Sector of the United State's Border Patrol.

This site provides sector related information, contact information, and where our stations are located.

Thank you for visiting San Diego Sector's webpage.


Image of the San Diego Border Patrol Sector banner

The San Diego Sector encompasses 56,831 square miles including 931 miles of coastal border from the California border with Mexico north to Oregon. San Diego Sector's primary operational area of responsibility consists of 7,000 square miles including 60 linear miles of international boundary with Mexico and 114 coastal border miles along the Pacific Ocean. The San Diego Sector encompasses coastal beaches and expansive mesas that lead to coastal and inland mountains, rugged canyons, and high desert. Directly south of San Diego lie the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Tecate, Baja California, which have a combined population of more than four and a half million people.

During the seventies, illegal alien traffic steadily increased, rising to more than 100,000 in 1973 and more than 250,000 by 1976. In 1986, the sector recorded its highest number of apprehensions in a single year-more than 628,000.

Although the smallest Border Patrol sector geographically, San Diego Sector was the busiest sector for illegal entries, accounting for more than 40 percent of nationwide apprehensions in the early nineties. For decades, this area was the preferred corridor for illegal entries due to the highly populated neighborhoods north and south of the border. The region gained national attention with the inception of Operation Gatekeeper on October 1, 1994, an initiative that aimed to restore integrity and safety at the Nation's busiest border. The former Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review committed unprecedented resources and implemented innovative strategies to reverse decades of neglect along the San Diego border.

As a result, illegal entries were reduced by approximately 75 percent over the next few years to a more manageable level in the late 1990s. San Diego Sector was then able to concentrate on other areas, such as establishing the Border Safety Initiative (BSI). In 1998, the BSI was initiated, a multi-faceted border safety campaign designed to reduce injuries and prevent fatalities along the border.

Over the course of the last four decades, San Diego Sector has created a variety of specialty units that further the mission of the U.S. Border Patrol.

  • 1979-Horse Patrol
  • 1984-REACT (now named San Diego Sector Border Patrol Tactical Unit -BORTAC)
  • 1992-Marine Interdiction Unit (now led by CBP's Office of Air & Marine)
  • 1998-BORSTAR (Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue team)
  • 2003-Air Mobile Unit (recently merged into Mobile Response Team)
  • 2005-Smuggling Interdiction Group (SIG)- consolidated a variety of special-purpose enforcement units in the areas of smuggling interdiction, investigation, and intelligence

The nationwide expansion of BORSTAR has resulted in thousands of rescues and related search and rescue operations that saved lives. BORSTAR also provides bi-national training in basic search and rescue techniques to foreign law enforcement officials to further enhance safety along the immediate border area. The creation of SIG has enhanced overall enforcement efforts and provided an improved functional liaison with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other law enforcement entities.

In October 2009, Campaign Stronghold was implemented as a strategy based on focused terrain denial and targeted enforcement geared toward disrupting, dismantling, and defeating targeted transnational criminal organizations. Border Patrol agents made a total of 42,447 apprehensions in San Diego Sector in Fiscal Year 2011. This marks a significant decline resulting in the lowest yearly recorded total since 1969.

Today, San Diego Sector is focused on addressing the continuously changing tactics of transnational criminal organizations. Due to increased land border security, transnational criminal organizations have shifted their illegal activities to include the aerial, subterranean, and maritime domains. In order to effectively protect America's borders, Border Patrol agents conduct their enforcement duties on foot, horseback, and mountain bikes, and utilize various types of vehicles including all-terrain vehicles.

With the increase in smuggling activity in recent years along Southern California's coastal borders, additional Border Patrol agents have been assigned to combat the maritime smuggling of humans and drugs. As a result, San Diego Sector's Primary Operational Domain has increased from 91 coastal border miles to 114. To ensure seamless enforcement, the San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent has tactical control of all CBP Office of Air and Marine assets. This ensures that the mission of securing the border on land, along the coast, and in the air is a comprehensive, all-inclusive process.

Today's complex threats are being addressed through intelligence driven operations, as well as through integrated and collaborative operational planning and execution with other Customs and Border Protection agencies. Moreover, San Diego Sector has enhanced its strategic partnerships with other Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. In addition, San Diego Sector has dedicated its resources to the California Corridor Campaign and implementation of the 2012-2016 Border Patrol Strategic Plan. These sophisticated strategies focus on collaboration with strategic law enforcement partners and taking a risk-based approach to securing the border. These strategies also ensure a continued investment into strengthening the U.S. Border Patrol through training of personnel, enhancement of technology, and the expansion of inter-agency cooperation.

Chief Patrol Agent: Aaron M. Heitke

Acting Deputy Chief Patrol Agent: Scott D. Garrett

Service Area: The San Diego Sector covers the entire San Diego County.

Sector Headquarters Location: 2411 Boswell Road, Chula Vista, California

Stations: Stations of the San Diego Sector are located in Brown Field, Boulevard, Campo, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Imperial Beach, San Clemente, and Theodore L. Newton (Murrieta), California.

Contact Information: Phone Number (619) 216-4000; Sector Headquarters Mailing Address - 2411 Boswell Rd., Chula Vista, CA 91914-3519

Community Feedback: We strive to provide quality service to our customers. If we have not lived up to this commitment, we would like to know. If we have met or exceeded your expectations, please let us know that as well. To comment on the services provided by this office, please write to the Sector Chief Patrol Agent. If you feel you were mistreated by a Border Patrol employee or wish to make a complaint of misconduct by a Border Patrol employee, you may write to the Chief Patrol Agent.

Employment Opportunities: To obtain information about employment opportunities with the Border Patrol, you may contact this Sector and ask to speak to a recruiter.  You will find additional information about careers with the Border Patrol in the Careers section of this website.

Honor Guard: Learn about the San Diego Sector Honor Guard and the Flag Ceremony. Call (619) 241-6065 for more information.

Public Affairs Office: To receive information concerning community or media-related issues, contact the San Diego Sector Public Affairs Office at (619) 216-4182 or email at SDCICD@cbp.dhs.gov.

Vehicle Seizure Office: Contact the San Diego Sector at (619) 498-9817 for vehicle seizure or asset forfeiture inquiries.

Prosecutions Office: The San Diego Prosecutions Office can be reached by calling (619) 498-9847.

Border Community Liaison: Border Community Relations Office email: SDCICD@cbp.dhs.gov

Centered on the front of the coin is the U.S. Border Patrol badge. It is encircled by concertina wire, symbolizing the importance of a new way of thinking about border security in San Diego. The eight stars on the concertina wire represent each Border Patrol station in the San Diego Sector. At the top of the coin is the U.S. Border Patrol motto - "Honor First."

In the center of the back of the coin is an image with several components. The Border Patrol seal worn by all uniformed agents is at the lower left. The horse-mounted Border Patrol Agent depicts fallen Supervisory Border Patrol Agent who tragically lost his life on September 7, 2001. The agent symbolizes every agent who has stood watch on "The Line," while honoring the fallen agents who have made the ultimate sacrifice. A section of border fence along the Imperial Beach coastline, the western-most point of the Southwest Border, and the San Diego, California skyline are also represented. Encircling the center are two phrases, "Preserving the Past - Embracing the Future," to recognize the legacy of the U.S. Border Patrol as the agency moves forward and builds upon its past success; and "Vigilance, Integrity, Service to Country," the core values of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Along the edge of the coin are the three-letter abbreviations for each of the eight U.S. Border Patrol stations in the San Diego Sector.


Image of the San Diego Sector challenge coin



Last Modified: January 24, 2022