Stefanik wants 1,846 new staff members at US-Canada border

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik speaks with the Enterprise editorial board Oct. 5, 2018, at the newspaper’s Saranac Lake office. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

PLATTSBURGH — North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is pushing for the addition of 1,846 new positions within Customs and Border Protection, including 1,200 new officers.

The additional staffing, she says, will help curtail the need to transfer officers from the northern border with Canada to the southern border with Mexico.

Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, and Northern Border Caucus Co-Chair Brian Higgins, D-NY-26, released a letter sent to House appropriation leaders supporting the addition of the news positions.

CBP employs almost 45,000 law enforcement personnel across three divisions that cover U.S. ports, borders, air, maritime and overseas operations. The letter led by Higgins and Stefanik and signed by fellow Northern Border Caucus members Reps. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., Collin Peterson, D-Minn., Peter Welch, D-Vt., Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., and Daniel Kildee, D-Mich., notes “current staffing levels fail to address the growing demands of travel and trade at our ports-of-entry.”

Last month, members of the Northern Border Caucus released a bipartisan letter opposing U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to transfer CBP officers stationed along the Northern Border and U.S. airports to posts at the southern border.