Issue: Supplemental Funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
April 1, 2019 – Custom and Border Protection redeployment at the Southern Border Ports of front line staff has dramatically effected wait times at McAllen’s two ports of entry. The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is seeking supplemental funding for CBP officers to cover the operations for the remainder of the fiscal year. Additional funding is needed for CBP officers, overtime, and travel costs related to ongoing deployment at southern ports of entry. It is critical for the Rio Grande Valley and particularly McAllen, to address funding levels and staffing at our ports of entry.
Our region is experiencing critical delays and wait times that now exceed 6-7 hours, which is unacceptable for the efficient and effective movement of goods and people. McAllen relies on the safe and efficient movement of goods and people, and with the redeployment of CBP officers during the current immigration crisis, wait times have reached unacceptable levels. There is an increasing loss of efficiencies and productivity for major employers in our region.
Custom and Border Protection currently operates at a deficit of staffing of over 3,700 officers. Every redeployment of CBP officers at the ports of entry has a significant impact on the movement of goods and people. The McAllen Chamber of Commerce has an increasing concern about how CBP’s staffing will impact the flow of goods and people. Also, it is our understanding the CBP is scaling back operations in other critical areas of airport operations.
Chamber Position: We encourage Congress to provide additional funding to mitigate any severe disruption of CBP’s operations and security work. We would also strengthen Homeland Security to find other resources within the agency to help offset current staffing and funding issues. These funding issues, if not resolved, will do substantial economic harm to our region and our community. We are seeking supplemental funding to assist CBP in responding effectively.