Two interesting pieces of legislation have been introduced in Congress – both aimed at securing the border, each with similar titles.
The first is titled the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act, sponsored by Sen. Gary C. Peters, D-MI. The bill’s objective is “to increase the number of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations officers and support staff, and to require reports that identify staffing, infrastructure, and equipment needed to enhance security at ports of entry.”
To achieve this objective, the bill calls for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire, train, and assign at least 600 new field operations officers above the current attrition level during each fiscal year until the total number of officers equals and sustains the requirements specified in CBP’s Workload Staffing Model. This model analyzes traffic flows and other data at ports of entry to determine the optimal staffing needs at each port. Additionally, CBP would be authorized to hire and assign staff to support the new hires.
If CBP does not achieve the hiring goal outlined in the legislation, the comptroller general of the United States is mandated to conduct a review of CBP’s hiring practices to understand why the goals were not met. Upon completion of the review, a report would then be submitted to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives.