Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Secures 1,200 CBP Officers, 200 New Border Patrol Processing Coordinators, and 240 Agriculture Specialists

Increased staffing will facilitate trade and secure borders

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Leslie Martinez, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), June 11, 2019

Rep. Cuellar Secures 1,200 CBP Officers, 200 New Border Patrol Processing Coordinators, and 240 Agriculture Specialists

Increased staffing will facilitate trade and secure borders

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) secured an increase of 1,200 Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers, an increase of 240 agriculture specialists, and 200 new border patrol processing coordinators to assist CBP with the influx of migrants at our southern border. The Congressman was able to secure the additional personnel in the FY20 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. In February 2019, Congressman Cuellar included language that encourages CBP to hire an additional 1,200 officers at our ports of entry.

“My district is home to the leading port in the United States, transporting about 60 percent of all U.S.-Mexico trade. Currently, CBP is facing severe staffing shortages that greatly impact our economy and safety.” said Congressman Cuellar. “Increasing the number of personnel will help streamline trade on our ports as well as improve security along the border. I will continue to support Customs and Border Patrol and fund them the necessary resources for our country’s national security and economic prosperity.”

“I would like to thank Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Ranking Member Kay Granger, as well as Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and Ranking Member Chuck Fleischmann for helping me include this language.”

Additional Customs and Border Patrol Officers

To address staffing shortages at our ports of entries, the Congressman secured funding for 1,200 additional Customs and Border Patrol Officers to process commerce efficiently and provide the highest level of security. The agency screens 1 million visitors and 67,000 cargo containers each day.

Previously this year, in the FY19 Appropriations package, Congressman Cuellar included language that allows CBP to hire an additional 1,200 officers at our ports of entry.

Creation of New CBP Entry-Level Position

Congressman Cuellar helped include $10 million in funding for CBP to create and hire 200 new entry level CBP positions to perform duties related to processing and documenting those who come into the United States.

As a result of the large influx of migrants, about 40% of the Border Patrol agents on the Southwest border are currently conducting processing, transportation, care and hospital watch, feeding, and cleaning duties instead of frontline law enforcement responsibilities at ports of entry. The reassignment of CBP officers to this crisis has caused major disruption to the flow of commerce through our southern border ports of entry.

The new entry level positions will perform humanitarian related tasks such as transportation, processing and escorting migrants in CBP custody, instead of utilizing personnel vital to trade and border security.

Agriculture Specialists

The Congressman secured language for an additional 240 Agriculture Specialists at our southern border to safeguard American agriculture while facilitating legitimate trade and travel. It is critical to monitor and govern the types of plant and agricultural products to protect against threats to our economy and ecosystem. A major threat that they detect, assess, and intercept on a regular basis are pests that could potentially compromise the integrity of American crops. 

To see a summary of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee bill, click here.