NPR Story
11:49 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Increase In CBP Officers Could Reduce Border Wait Times

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — U.S. Customs and Border Protection could be getting a much-needed influx of officers as the House Appropriations Committee approves the Homeland Security Budget.

An additional 1,600 Customs and Border Protection officers could start assisting with border check points to speed up entry into the U.S. if the Homeland Security Appropriations bill for 2014 passes.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) originally requested the increase which was approved in committee this week. Cuellar says the bill is a huge step for border security and that trade and tourism should be improved if it passes the House and Senate.

“This should help us with the waiting lines, this should mean that the economic impact to our community will be improved simply because we will not be wasting time waiting in line for an average of an hour or an hour and a half every time we try to pass one of those commercial trucks,” Cuellar said.

The bill includes a total of 21,000 border patrol agents and 22,000 CBP officers — the most any budget has ever allotted. About $10 billion has been reserved for the CBP and it gives Homeland security $39 billion in discretionary spending.

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