Seventeenbusiness and labor groups are calling on Congress to initiate a hiring surge at Customs and Border Protection to fix what they said is an economic and security crisis caused by short-staffed ports.
In a letter to lawmakers, the group pushed for the appropriations committees to provide the funding needed for additional manpower. Although commerce across American borders has more than tripled in the past 25 years, CBP staffing hasn’t kept pace with demand, the group said.
The letter said adding 600 CBP officers at the ports of entry could up yearly economic activity by over $1 billion and add over 17,000 new jobs.
The coalition also expressed its support for the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act, introduced early April by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., and John Cornyn, R-Texas. It would staff all ports of entry by directing CBP to hire at least 600 extra officers yearly until its staffing needs are met.