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Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Border Security, Increase Number of Officers at Ports of Entry

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, cosponsored bipartisan legislation to strengthen border security and address personnel shortages at ports of entry, including along the southern border. The Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act, would fully staff America’s airports, seaports, and land ports of entry by requiring U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to hire no less than 600 additional officers a year until the agency’s staffing needs are met.


“Customs and Border Protection officers serve as our first line of defense in drug interdiction efforts, prevent human trafficking and illegal border entries, and facilitate lawful trade and travel across our borders,” Senator Hassan said. “Shortages of CBP officers threatens our national security and public safety, which is why Congress must pass our bipartisan bill to hire more officers and strengthen border security.”  


According to CBP, the agency has a shortage of more than 900 officers. In addition to hiring more CBP officers, the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act also authorizes the annual hiring of mission support staff and technicians to perform non-law enforcement functions in support of CBP. These professionals will allow CBP officers to focus their efforts on law enforcement priorities while supporting lawful international commerce through the nation’s ports of entry. The bill also requires reporting on infrastructure improvements at ports of entry that would enhance drug interdiction, information on detection equipment that would help officers better identify drugs, and safety equipment to protect officers from accidental exposure to dangerous toxins. 


Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to strengthen border security as a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), which recently voted to advance a bipartisan bill that Senator Hassan cosponsored that gives CBP more authority to make repairs to Southern border ports of entry. Additionally, the recent government funding bill that Senator Hassan helped craft included $23 billion to help Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement address the high volume of migrants at the Southern border. Senator Hassan has also worked with her colleagues to pass into law the bipartisan INTERDICT Act, which has provided critical tools to CBP to help detect and intercept fentanyl and other illegal synthetic opioids. Senator Hassan also recently led a field hearing in Manchester through her role as chair of the Emerging Threats subcommittee to examine ways that Congress can help support law enforcement’s efforts to stem the flow of drugs into community, including at the southern border.