Sen. Ossoff helped pass the bipartisan “Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act” through U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee
In Fiscal Year 2022, 84% of fentanyl seized along the Southern Border was caught at ports of entry, highlighting need to hire more officers
Atlanta, Ga. — U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff is working to strengthen border security and hire more U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.
Last month, Sen. Ossoff helped pass the bipartisan Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act through the U.S. Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, which would address personnel shortages at ports of entry.
To address staffing shortages, the bipartisan bill would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire, train, and assign no less than 600 additional CBP officers a year, until the agency’s staffing needs are met, to secure ports of entry across the country.
“Customs and Border Protection need more officers to secure seaports and airports in Georgia and to secure our border,” Sen. Ossoff said. “I’m helping bring Republicans and Democrats together to hire more CBP officers to protect the U.S.”
Georgia is home to several of the country’s busiest ports of entry, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport; the Port of Savannah, the 4th busiest port in the nation; and the Port of Brunswick, which is the second busiest port for import and export roll-on-roll-off cargo, such as cars.
In addition to hiring more CBP officers, the bipartisan bill authorizes the annual hiring of support staff and technicians to perform non-law enforcement functions, allowing officers to focus on law enforcement priorities, such as preventing drug trafficking.
The bipartisan bill also requires a report on infrastructure improvements at ports of entry that would help enhance drug interdiction and strengthen detection equipment. Addressing the shortage of CBP officers would also help to reduce waiting times for merchandise, agriculture, luggage, and travelers coming through U.S. ports of entry.
Sen. Ossoff continues his work to support law enforcement in Georgia and across the country.
Earlier this year, Sens. Ossoff and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the bipartisan Filling Public Safety Vacancies Act to help law enforcement agencies reduce staffing shortages and effectively protect communities.
Last year, Sens. Ossoff and Chuck Grassley (R-IA)’s bipartisan legislation to fund trainings for first responders, crisis intervention teams, mental health courts, and other programs that help law enforcement assist individuals experiencing mental illness became law.
Click here to read the bipartisan Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act.