Washington D.C. – Customs and Border Protection would be able to hire 1,200 new CBP Officers, hundreds of Agriculture Specialists and other much-needed port personnel under legislation scheduled for a vote Wednesday by a House appropriations subcommittee.
The funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security includes $151 million specifically to alleviate the severe staffing shortage at the nation’s 328 ports of entry.
The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents about 27,000 CBP employees, endorsed the legislation on Tuesday.
“Excessive overtime, double-shifts and temporary duty assignments to the Southern border are taking a toll on the men and women of CBP, and this legislation would go a long way toward improving their safety and the efficiency of the entire agency,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon.
The funding proposal from the House Appropriations Homeland Security subcommittee would allow CBP to hire 1,200 new CBP Officers, 240 Agriculture Specialists and 406 other mission support personnel, plus provide $242 million for new technology to improve security at the border and the ports.
CBP’s own onboard staffing data and most recent workload staffing model show a shortage of 3,700 Officers, plus ongoing Agriculture Specialists and trade enforcement personnel shortages at the ports of entry. The understaffed ports are a threat to employee safety and hamper the efficient processing of legitimate trade and travel.
Business and industry groups that use the ports daily, along with NTEU, had earlier endorsed legislation mandating a hiring surge at CBP, which would increase economic activity, create jobs and improve port operations.
“NTEU commends House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard of California for recognizing the peril caused by CBP’s staffing shortage and taking strong action to alleviate it,” Reardon said.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.