Union presses bill mandating 600 new CBP hires each year

Federal employee unions have repeatedly knocked the current White House for proposing too many cuts, and trying to push various agencies to do too much with too little—and once again, a major union is pressing for more resources for a crucial government function.

The National Treasury Employees Union is backing a bill that would authorize the hiring of 600 additional Customs and Border Protection officers every year, until a known staffing shortage at that agency is brought under control.

The bill—the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act, sponsored by Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)—aims to reduce known gaps in the workforce.

“We commend Sen. Peters and Sen. Cornyn for recognizing that understaffed ports are a threat to our nation’s economic health and public safety, and then crafting a common-sense solution to the problem,” NTEU’s president, Tony Reardon, said in a press release. “If passed into law, this legislation would immediately improve the flow of legitimate trade and travel through our ports, increase the number of people and vehicles that are screened for illicit goods and make the workplace safer for thousands of federal law enforcement personnel.”

CBP operates with a deficit of about 3,700 CBP Officers, according to the agency and the union. The agency’s own estimates say that with 600 more officers on staff each year, the increase in capacity and efficiency would result in an annual increase of at least $1 billion in economic activity, as well as 16,000 U.S. jobs.

NTEU represents more than 27,000 CBP staff, who work at 328 U.S. ports of entry and preclearance sites around the world.

Reader comments

Fri, Apr 5, 2019 Luke

Isn't this the same initiative that President Trump is promoting: to hire more CBP and Border Patrol officers? Why are the unions and politicians from Michigan & Texas acting like it's a new idea? This Trump Derangement Syndrome is poisoning people's brains.

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