U.S. History 1302
10 April 2006
I am doing this project because the teacher told I need to do this for a grade. I did this interview with Cindy Limones who works at the port of entry here in Del Rio. The interview is about her job and some of her history with it.
MN: What is your name?
CL: Cindy Limones.
MN: What is your job title?
CL: Uh, Assistant Port Director for Customs and Border Protection.
MN: What is it that you do?
CL: Uh, I supervise supervisors. Uh, thereís uh, thereís eight supervisors under me and thereís uh approximately a hundred and twenty six other employees including clerks.
MN: How long have you been doing this?
CL: Uh, in this position for two years.
MN: And how long have you been in the career?
CL: In the career twenty one years.
MN: What are the levels to get to this position?
CL: Uh, is uh, I started out off as a GS-4 clerk and uh I applied for the Immigration Service as an immigration inspector and I started off as a GS- 5 and continued on to uh to the GS-7 level GS-9 and GS-11.
MN: What did you, when did you decide to uh this was uh the the career?
CL: Uh, when I was six years old and I would come in um with my parents from across the border, Mexico, and uh I would always point out uh the officers that I always wanted to be one of them.
MN: Where did you get your training?
CL: In uh, FLETC which means uh Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glenco, Georgia.
MN: How long was your training?
CL: It was for four months.
MN: What did it consist of?
CL: Uh, training consisted of uh learning the immigration laws uh it consisted of driving, swimming, firearms training, arrest techniques and just every everything in order to survive uh any confrontation.
MN: Have you ever been in any confrontations?
CL: Uh, yes several times.
MN: Can you say one of them?
CL: Uh, there thereís just so many. On one of them I had to straddle a lady cause she was rather big for my size and uh I just had to straddle and uh her because she was hitting her head against our cinder block walls, so had to pull her hair and what not restrain her not actually like pull her as to wanting to beat her up, just to restrain her for her safety and my safety.
MN: Have you ever had to use your gun?
CL: Uh, no as of yet no.
MN: Do uh so any officers ever use their gun?
MN: You try not to?
CL: We try not to. Weíre trained in several levels of confrontation as they escalate we use other other other measures like the baton, the pepper spray, and it it gets to the confrontation where itís going to be deadly your against you or someone else your fellow officer then you do draw the weapon and upon your command if he doesnít uh and if he approaches you and with the force or deadly force and you feel threatened and you feel you have to shoot well you can do that, but we try not to.
MN: Is there an age limit to this career?
CL: As of yet there is not, but there is a lot of physical um physical exercises now with the new merging of the Customs and Border Protection since two thousand two. The training academy is very uh rigorous.
MN: So you have to be in physical condition to join?
CL: Um, you really donít have to be, but.
MN: Theyíll put you in.
CL: (laughing) Right, but I would recommend it because there is more strenuous exercises now.
MN: I heard that you had to be twenty one to to join in so you donít have to?
CL: In order to carry a weapon yes. You have to be twenty one, but if you were previously in an explorer program their allowing you at the age of twenty.
MN: So once youíre done having your training and passed all the required exams is there a probation period?
CL: Uh, yes the probationary period is two years and uh after you finish your academy you come back to the port of entry and continue on the job training until your probationary period is over.
MN: Has it always been two years?
CL: Um, no with the new merging thatís when it started before it was only for ten months.
MN: What what on the probation what is it? Do they just watch you or what happens?
CL: Itís actually more ac academic training and more hands on training like uh like in the field. Uh, your out doing actual inspections, actual interviews and uh thatís it. If they if if your training officer or instructor feel that you need more training they recommend more training.
MN: If they recommend more training will it hurt you or is it alright?
CL: It wont hurt you. Uh, eventually you will pick up unless that you do something or uh in violation then you can probably uh they will ask you to resign.
MN: So you donít get fired? (laughing)
CL: Unless you do something really bad (laugh) yes you do.
MN: Okay back back to your job um what what else do you do u just besides supervising other people?
CL: Uh, I have to take care of uh complaints from the public against officers. Uh, I have to make sure that the operations regarding passport and passenger control are running smoothly. I am in charge of um of the officers that inspect people who are applying for admissions at this port of entry.
MN: Uh, so you are your only in charge of this port of entry or other ports as well?
CL: Uh, Iím in charge of the passport passenger control of the Amistad Damn, airport and this port of entry.
MN: Alright. With regards to your family do they support you or are they ever worried that you may get hurt?
CL: Um, yes they they worry. Uh, my husband prays a lot (laugh) and uh when I actually started this career my children were young and then now that their uh older they understand they still support me in what I do.
MN: Okay. Um, do you encourage your kids to join law enforcement or government jobs?
CL: Um, I just encouraged them to uh to do or get a job that theyíll enjoy going to everyday. I have a son who is a police officer and I have a daughter who works at the police station as a radio dispatcher and sheís going to the academy or taking the test to join the police department here in August.
MN: Has your youngest daughter showed any interest in law enforcement?
CL: Uh, she wants to go into the military and uh also to pursue in law enforcement.
MN: Will you be as fearful with your kids as they are with you?
CL: Um, yes probably more since I already know what what the job in tells and uh the shift work and every every person you encounter your just uh leery of everyone.
MN: How long are your hours?
CL: Um, I work eight to four usually Monday through Friday, but when I started with this career it itís a uh shift work job and uh itís form uh twelve midnight to eight in the morning, eight in the morning to four in the afternoon, four in the afternoon until twelve midnight.
MN: Which one would you say is more dangerous?
CL: I would have to say twelve midnight to eight in the morning.
MN: Have you ever done that?
CL: Uh, yes uh actually that is the preferred shift that that I would work because there is more excitement.
MN: How long do you plan to stay in this career?
CL: Um, at least uh eight more years until Iím fifty seven and that would be thirty years in the service.
MN: What do you plan to do when you retire?
CL: travel lots of traveling.
MN: Travel the world?
CL: Um try to.
MN: Would you say this is a good job for for many people or a certain few.
CL: Uh, yes it is. You you really have to put a hundred and ten percent uh in this job because uh it is it is your life and you are also uh protecting the Americans uh um from from any terrorist or or any any wrong doing to the United States entering form another country.
MN: Alright. So would you say that uh people that donít like firearms could do this or shouldnít.
CL: Um, they shouldnít unless they have some kind of previous exposure to firearms and if they enjoy that then this would be an excellent career.
MN: Have you had previous experience with firearms before?
CL: Yes I had. I had uh um previous handguns and and riffles uh uh while I was growing up through my father.
MN: Um, have you um taught your children how to use weapons or to use any kind of guns anything?
CL: Um, I actually havenít taught them how to how to fire a weapon, but I have taught them on the safety of them, how to handle them uh what not to do in other words not to aim at at if if your not going to shoot. Um Iíve always told them if you donít know how to shoot just leave the weapon alone you donít touch it.
MN: Okay. Um, so. Well I guess Iíd like to thank you for your time and I hope you have fun in your retirement and the rest of your job. Good luck be careful be safe and you know all that stuff the, good stuff.
CL: Okay thank you very much.
MN: Thank you.