Rep. Cuellar Introduces Bipartisan Border Patrol Pay Security Act of 2019
Legislation allows Border Patrol Agents to qualify for overtime pay guaranteed under the Fair Labor Standards Act, ensuring pay parity with other law enforcement agencies
Washington | Olya Voytovich, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), April 26, 2019
WASHINGTON— Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) introduced H.R. 2335, the Border Patrol Pay Security Act of 2019, a bill amending the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to reinstate Border Patrol agent compensation for overtime for certain hours of work. Specifically, this bipartisan piece of legislation provides federal labor pay standards to those who are among both our most deserving and critically needed workers, maintaining the security and continued economic prosperity of South Texas and the U.S.
“One of the biggest challenges facing CBP is the persistent recruitment and retention issue of front line law enforcement positions,” said Congressman Cuellar. “The Border Patrol’s recruitment and retention issue not only effects their ability to carry out our laws and keep our nation safe, it is impeding CBP’s ability to process legitimate trade and travel, increasing wait times at the Texas Ports of Entry (POEs), and decreasing U.S. economic competitiveness. Addressing pay parity for Border Patrol agents is part of my comprehensive effort to ensure that our border and ports of entry are fully staffed with high quality personnel and that they are well equipped to sufficiently execute their jobs.”
An integral part of securing our borders starts with ensuring the men and women in green, who protect the American people every day, are properly compensated for their work. In recent years, the U.S. Border Patrol has faced severe recruitment and retention challenges due to the dangerous and demanding nature of the jobs they perform and its lack of pay parity with other federal law enforcement agencies. A substantial number of agents are either retiring or leaving for other law enforcement jobs that offer more stable work hours, overtime compensation, and in most cases, a less physically strenuous job.
House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Mike Rogers (AL-03), the first to cosponsor the bill stated, “More manpower is desperately needed at our southwest border. The Border Patrol Pay Security Act will help ensure our Border agents are compensated adequately and on par with other law enforcement agencies. These changes will help address the major challenge Border Patrol is facing recruiting and retaining agents.”
“The primary reason Border Patrol is losing agents to other federal agencies is that they lack pay parity with their counterparts. I want to thank Congressman Cuellar for his hard work and dedication to address this important issue which affects all U.S. border patrol agents,” said Hector Garza, President of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2455 in Laredo, Texas.