Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Secures Passage of Reauthorization of Donations Acceptance Program

Program expedites POEs improvements to strengthen the facilitation of future trade and travel demands

Washington | Charlotte Laracy, DC Press Secretary (202-226-1583); Alexis Torres, District Press Secretary (956-286-6007), December 22, 2020

Washington, D.C.— Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) secured the passage of the Donations Acceptance Program Reauthorization Act of 2020 in both the House and Senate. The Donations Acceptance Program (DAP) enables U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to explore, create and facilitate partnerships for improvements on port of entry infrastructures and technology, with the investment made by the local entities.

Congressman Cuellar was able to pass this legislation as part of the emergency coronavirus relief and 2021 spending package.

“The Donations Acceptance Program is a critical method to invest and expedite improvements at ports of entry in the United States,” said Congressman Cuellar. “I established this program in 2013 and worked hard to expand it to create jobs, support trade industries and tourism, reduce border wait times, and increase border security.  This reauthorization will only further expand our economic growth and security throughout our nation by making necessary improvements to our ports of entry. As the representative of the busiest land port of entry, I am committed to improving our infrastructure to improve the safe and efficient flow of legitimate trade and travel.”  

“The Border Trade Alliance offers tremendous thanks to Congressman Cuellar and Senator Cornyn for their successful bipartisan leadership to extend the DAP program that has proven to be an effective tool for the public and private sectors to work together to modernize border infrastructure,” Border Trade Alliance President Ms. Britton Mullen said. “We look forward to working with Congress and the administration over the next year to strengthen this already successful program.”

The reauthorization of DAP will extend to December 16, 2021. The goal of DAP is to work with communities along the border to help equip CBP's frontline officers and trade specialists with the tools and capabilities they need to operate more effectively. Accepted donations may be used in support of a wide array of CBP operations and may include new lanes, inspection booths, inspection technologies, intellectual property rights enforcement tools, and more. 

In 2013, Congressman Cuellar successfully added legislative language in Appropriations Act that authorized a pilot program in which CBP could enter into agreements to receive donations of property or non-personal services at ports of entry. In 2016, Congressman Cuellar and Senator John Cornyn passed H.R. 875, the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2016, which built on this pilot program. Since its inception, the DAP has entered into 40 partnerships, leveraging investments worth $219 million in POEs, primarily on the southwest border.