Strengthening Border Patrol Recruitment & Retention, Sinema & Kelly Introduce Bipartisan Legislation

Mar 17, 2022

Arizona Senators were joined by Republican Senators John Cornyn (Texas) & James Lankford (Okla.) to introduce the Border Patrol Pay Security Act

WASHINGTON – Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly partnered with Republican Senators John Cornyn (Texas) and James Lankford (Okla.) to introduce the bipartisan Border Patrol Pay Security Act. This bipartisan bill ensures Border Patrol agents are treated fairly regarding overtime pay, bringing the Border Patrol pay system into line with other federal law enforcement agencies. The Border Patrol Pay Security Act will help address recruitment and retention challenges in the Border Patrol and improve border security.

“Ensuring our Border Patrol Agents receive fair overtime pay strengthens recruitment and retention and helps keep our border secure. We’ll continue working across the aisle to support our Border Patrol and keep Arizona families and communities safe and secure,” said Senator Sinema, Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee.

“The hardworking men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol are frequently working overtime to keep our communities safe but don’t see the same pay benefits as other federal law enforcement. As we continue to deal with the crisis at our southern border, our legislation will improve border security by boosting the U.S. Border Patrol’s continued efforts to hire and retain talented agents,” said Senator Mark Kelly.

“Now more than ever, our border patrol agents put their lives at risk every day they put on their uniform,” said Senator Cornyn. “The dedicated men and women who are sworn to protect and secure our border should be justly compensated, particularly as they work around the clock to keep our communities safe. While long overdue, it is crucial that the U.S. Border Patrol can focus on recruiting, retaining, and training the best agents that are paid comparably to their federal law enforcement counterparts.”

“The men and women serving our nation as Border Patrol officers are working around the clock to protect our nation by securing our border. I’ve heard firsthand from Border Patrol agents at a muster earlier this year about the roadblocks they face,” said Senator Lankford. “Unfortunately, this Administration has handcuffed them from actually doing their job. They’ve taken these men and women who are law enforcement and turned them into hotel-check-in. But, even when morale is down they are still working twice as hard to ensure the job is done right—and often put in hours of overtime on a regular basis. They deserve to ensure they’re being adequately compensated for the hard work they’re doing on our border.”

The Border Patrol Pay Security Act fixes inequities in the current pay system by ensuring agents get paid traditional overtime when they work over 80 hours a week, putting the Border Patrol overtime system on par with other federal law enforcement agencies.

Sinema and Kelly secured major investments to secure and manage the border in the recently-passed Fiscal Year 2022 government funding package. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs law that Sinema co-wrote and negotiated and Kelly helped shape, makes historic border investments to land ports of entry that allow for more efficient cross-border trade to support Arizona jobs and allow Customs and Border Protection to better detect and stop criminal behavior.

As Chair of the Senate Border Management Subcommittee, Sinema is finding bipartisan solutions to support DHS Agents and Officers, keep Arizonans safe, and address the ongoing challenges at the border. Sinema trusts in partnerships with federal law enforcement agencies and Arizona-based stakeholders, and recently held a virtual roundtable with these Arizona partners, including non-governmental organizations, to discuss solutions to the ongoing crisis at the border.

In February, Sinema toured Southern Arizona and held a roundtable discussion with the Border Patrol Council in Yuma to hear directly from frontline agents working to protect Arizona communities and mitigate the ongoing border crisis.