A diverse group of business, industry and union leaders have joined forces in support of legislation and funding to hire more Customs and Border Protection personnel and alleviate staffing shortages at the nation’s ports of entry.
The coalition – which includes leading voices from various shipping, tourism, travel, trade, law enforcement, and employee groups – delivered letters to Capitol Hill on Wednesday endorsing the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act (S. 1004), and urging House and Senate appropriators to provide the funding necessary to hire at least 600 new CBP officers annually.
CBP’s own workload staffing model shows another 3,700 CBP Officers are needed to meet the growing demands of trade and travel through the airports, land ports, and sea ports around the country.
“Long wait times at our ports-of-entry lead to travel delays and uncertainty, which can increase supply-chain costs and cause passengers to miss their connections,” according to a coalition letter. “According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, border delays result in losses to output, wages, jobs, and tax revenue due to decreases in spending by companies, suppliers, and consumers.”
Letters were sent to Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who are cosponsoring the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act, and to members of the House and Senate appropriations committees.
The following organizations signed onto the letters:
- Airports Council International – North America
- American Association of Port Authorities
- National Treasury Employees Union
- American Association of Airport Executives
- Borderplex Alliance
- Border Trade Alliance
- Cargo Airline Association
- Cruise Lines International Association
- Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association
- Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
- Global Business Travel Association
- National Association of Waterfront Employers
- New York Shipping Association
- United States Maritime Alliance
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- U.S. Travel Association
- West Gulf Maritime Association