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Airport Customs Food

In early 2019, Senate leaders in the United States were asked by groups comprised of airlines, airports, and travel companies in the country to increase funding to allow a sufficient number of Customs and Border Patrol agents to remain in airports and other entry points into the country. The request comes at a time when President Trump revealed plans to shift more of the agents to the southern border of the United States.

The groups speaking in support of the additional funding include Southwest Airlines Co., United Airlines, American Airlines Group Inc., the United States Travel Association, FedEx Corp, and others. The groups also warn that taking agents away from airports and other entry points into the country and shifting them to the southwest border will cause a number of problems.

The groups say that excessive wait times and other problems caused by a decreasing presence of Customs agents would damage the U.S. economy. The groups also acknowledged that a robbing Peter to pay Paul philosophy would be unsustainable.

The White House requested an additional $4.5 billion dollars in funds to address what it sees as a growing crisis along the border that the U.S. shares with Mexico.

The border crisis has been a major issue throughout the tenure of the 45th president. While campaigning for office, Trump promised to make the Mexican government pay for a wall that would prevent illegal immigrants from crossing the border.

Two and a half years later, the president still promises a wall will be built. He has also been able to secure funding to begin building the wall. However, it is unclear when the construction of the wall will begin.

The groups explain that the president has already transferred 300 agents to the nation’s southern border.

A spokeswoman for the Customs and Border Patrol agency was able to confirm that 186 additional agents will soon leave their current posts to assist at the southern border. The spokeswoman said the agents will be taken from a variety of locations that include seaports, border ports, and airports in the north to avoid too big of an impact on one particular location.

Customs and Border patrol made the news of the additional transfers to the airline groups a week ago. The agency also informed them that additional agent transfers are a possibility.

The groups reminded Senate leaders that international travel is currently on the rise. It is believed by the groups that taking agents away from ports of entry at this time will inconvenience travelers and put cargo in jeopardy.

Major airports in the United States, as well as, other industry, business and union groups pledged their support to legislation introduced by the Senate in April. The legislature seeks to add 600 new Customs and Border Patrol agents to current rosters each year.

In a letter written by the groups to Senate leaders on May 1, concern was expressed that the significant delays that are expected as a result of the agent transfers will disrupt supply chain management in the county and cause passengers to miss connecting flights.

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