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Carla Provost was officially appointed as chief of the U.S. Border Patrol on Thursday, becoming the first woman in the Department of Homeland Security's history.
The newly appointed chief has worked her way up the ranks throughout her 23-year career.
“I don't know, commissioner, if it's possible to be both humbled and proud at the same time, but those are certainly the emotions that I'm feeling,” Provost said during a press conference. “I'm profoundly grateful for every opportunity that has come my way and for the encouragement and the recognition that I have received along the way. And I couldn't be prouder to have the opportunity to be the voice for the men and women on the front lines of the U.S. Border Patrol.”
CBP Commissioner, Kevin McAleenan, credited Provost with the decline of use-of-force incidents over the recent years. Provost understands what it means to be the first female chief, but during an interview with the Washington Examiner, she explained that she didn't view herself any differently than her male peers.
“I was brought up that I can do anything,” said Provost “And it wasn’t, ‘You’re a girl, you can’t do this. Only boys do that.’ So I never looked at myself when I joined the Border Patrol as a female Border Patrol agent, just a Border Patrol agent. And I approached everything in that manner.”
Provost has been very outspoken about her support for the wall and how it would help the Border Patrol's mission.
“We already have many miles, over 600 miles of barrier along the border,” said Provost in an interview with The Hill. “I have been in locations where there was no barrier, and then I was there when we put it up. It certainly helps. It's not a be all end all. It's a part of a system. We need the technology, we need that infrastructure.”
While female Border Patrol agents only make up around five percent, Provost believes that numbers will continue to rise.
“When it comes to recruitment of women ... the Border Patrol has been about 5 percent women my entire career,” Provost said. “But I can tell you, we are seeing many more women rise through the ranks and to senior positions and I believe this will help with recruitment. We are doing targeted recruitment to try to get more women engaged in the Border Patrol.”