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President proposes historic numbers of CBP officers

Mar. 5, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
US Customs And Border Protection Secures SoCal-Mex
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection checks a driver's documents coming from Mexico into the United States. (John Moore / Getty Images)

Customs and Border Protection would hire 2,000 more officers — boosting its total to 25,775 — under the fiscal 2015 budget proposal released March 4.

The increase would come on top of another 2,000-officer increase approved for CBP in the fiscal 2014 budget passed in January.

Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents CBP officers, said the proposal represents “historic” levels of staffing for the agency and will help process the increased traffic at land ports of entry across the country.

“NTEU has been vocal in its belief that CBP needs a significant increase in staffing to fulfill its all-important mission of protecting our borders and facilitating passenger and cargo traffic,” Kelley said.

The budget includes an additional $362 million to support infrastructure and technology at checkpoints and along the border, according to budget documents.

Overall, the CBP budget would climb 2.6 percent — from $12.4 billion for fiscal 2014 to $12.7 billion in fiscal 2015 — or about $319 million.

The budget request includes about $420 million to renovate and upgrade three border crossings: the Alexandria Bay Land Port of Entry in New York, and the Calexico and San Ysidro ports of entry in California.

Dan Tangherlini, the administrator of the General Services Administration, which is in charge of construction and renovation of land ports of entry, said in the facilities are vital to American security and its economy.

“These improvements would ease traffic throughout the region, promote economic growth for our entire country, and better equip the Department of Homeland Security to ensure our nation’s safety.” Tangherlini said.

Other winners and losers in the DHS budget request include:

■The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which would see an 8.2 percent increase — from $11.5 billion for fiscal 2014 to $12.5 billion for fiscal 2015 — or about $942 million.

■The Science and Technology Directorate, which would see a 12.2 percent cut — from $1.2 billion for fiscal 2014 to $1 billion for fiscal 2015 — or about a $148 million drop.

■Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which would see a 4.5 percent cut — from $5.6 billion for fiscal 2014 to $5.3 billion for fiscal 2015 — or about a $255 million drop.■

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