Committee OKs hiring boost at CBP

A House committee has passed legislation that aims to strengthen border security by, in part, boosting and streamlining hiring at Customs and Border Protection.

The bill—Border Security For America Act— was approved 18-12 by the House Homeland Security Committee on Oct. 4.

It calls for 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 5,000 customs officers, and also streamlines the way that veterans and existing law enforcement officers can be hired at the agency.

Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) introduced the bill, along with 70 cosponsors.

“We have been talking about border security for many years,” McCaul said in a statement. “Now that we finally have a partner in the White House who has prioritized this issue, it’s time for Congress to do its part and get the job done. I look forward to working with my colleagues in both chambers to get this bill to the President’s desk so we can finally provide the American people with the security they have long demanded and deserve."

The bill also provides $10 billion for the construction of a border wall, including fencing, technology, air assets, and other barriers; and authorizes use of the National Guard along the southern border to help with aviation and intelligence support.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said, “We can’t expect law enforcement to curb illegal immigration without equipping them with the tools they need to secure our border,” adding, “I commend the committee for taking this critical first step, and I look forward to continuing my work with Chairman McCaul to advance our border security solution."

Reader comments

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 John Ericson Arizona

Thought President Trump already signed an executive order earlier this year for the hiring of 5000 more BP agents. Does it always take a bill from Congress to get executive orders rolling?

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