Senator’s bipartisan bill improves security at Arizona’s Land Ports of Entry through increased staffing, authorizes hiring of more than 600 Customs and Border Protection officers a year
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act – bipartisan legislation that boosts the number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel at ports of entry, increasing border security while facilitating legal trade and travel.
“Allowing CBP to hire more officers at our Land Ports of Entry will strengthen our border security, continue our economic growth through legal trade and travel, and help ease the immense strain CBP officers face on a daily basis at our Southwest Border,” said Sinema, Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee.
According to CBP’s Workload Staffing Model, which calculates the optimal number of CBP officers at ports of entry based on a variety of factors, CBP already faces a shortage of over 900 officers despite reduced international travel due to the pandemic. The bipartisan America’s Ports of Entry Act helps address the ongoing staffing shortages CBP faces on the Southwest Border by authorizing CBP to hire no fewer than 600 CBP officers for five years and directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct a review of CBP hiring practice if the agency is unable to meet this hiring minimum.
The Sinema-backed America’s Ports of Entry Act requires the CBP to report on infrastructure needs at ports of entry to improve drug interdiction capabilities and protect officers’ safety. The bipartisan legislation also requires reporting on the agency’s increasing reliance on reimbursable service agreements and temporary duty assignments to cover its system-wide staffing shortfalls.
Five Arizona organizations – including the Greater Nogales Santa Cruz County Port Authority, Greater Yuma Port Authority, Douglas International Port Authority, Douglas Regional Economic Development Cooperation, and the City of San Luis – and 23 national organizations support the Sinema-backed America’s Ports of Entry Act.
Sinema continues her calls to the Administration to have a comprehensive plan before ending Title 42. Partnering with a bipartisan group of senators, Sinema introduced legislation ensuring the Administration coordinates and communicates with border communities and puts a comprehensive, workable plan in place before lifting Title 42.