Congress Funds Thousands Of New Customs Agents For Border Crossings
The recently passed Omnibus Appropriations bill could help speed up trade on the U.S.-Mexico border. The bill includes a spending boost for Customs and Border Protection agents.
The $1.1 trillion bill funds the Homeland Security Department at $39 billion that’s a reduction of $336 million. However, the Customs and Border Protection branch of Homeland Security will see an increase of $110 million.
Richardo Favela of the Southern Border Communities Coalition said this will be used to hire more than 3,000 new Customs agents who will work to unclog the congested southern border land ports.
“It’s a signal that Congress is finally listening to the concerns of border residents themselves. We’ve been talking and asking about the needs to improve our ports of entry versus having this endless spending going into the Border Patrol when it’s not needed," Favela said. "Secondly improving the ports of entry actually is a benefit to our economy.”
There is no funding for additional Border Patrol agents in the omnibus bill.
Also in the bill, local communities and private sector entities will be able to enter into agreements with the federal government to fund infrastructure improvements and staffing at ports of entry.