U.S. President is Looking at Stripping Away Resources at Buffalo/Niagara and other Border Crossings to Address Mess he has Made at Mexican Border
A Call-Out from Buffalo-Area Congressman Brian with a Brief Foreword from Niagara At Large reporter and publisher Doug Draper
Posted April 15th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
A Foreword from Doug Draper –
The border crossings overt the Niagara River, between Niagara Ontario and Western New York – particularly the Peace Bridge – are among the busiest border crossings in North America, accommodating millions of people and tens-of-billions of dollars of goods transported back and forth each year.
So good for U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins from the Buffalo, New York area for speaking out and working to avert a very costly crisis for people and businesses on both sides of the border if the U.S. Trump administration pulls away border officers and other resources from the Canada/U.S. border to seemingly address his self-made border crisis with Mexico.
Now when are political representatives in Canada going to raise their voices over this and why, in the past three and a half years it has held power, hasn’t Canada’s Trudeau government re-opened the strategically important Canadian Consulate Office that the former Conservative Stephen Harper/Rob Nicholson government closed in 2012 (Niagara Falls MP Rob Nicholson was a cabinet minister in the Harper government at the time) in Buffalo, New York.
Certainly, Congressman Higgins’ efforts to keep our border crossings adequately resources and functional could benefit from some binational support from politidcal representatives here.
Now here is U.S. Congressman Brian Higgin’s News Release on this issue –
Higgins Tells Homeland Security: Don’t Pull Resources from Northern Border
Customs and Border Protection Announced Plans to Move Officers Stationed at US/Canada Border & Airports to Southern Border
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is objecting to the Administration’s plan to relocate Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers currently stationed in airports and on the border between the United States and Canada to serve along the southern border.
“While the challenges at the northern border are different than that at the southern border, they are no less significant,” said Higgins.
“This Administration’s efforts to divert personnel from our border with Canada, and U.S. airports, expands our national security and economic challenges, rather than addressing them in a responsible way.” DHS data<https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/18_0612_PLCY_DHS-Northern-Border-Strategy.pdf> notes the United States and Canada share 5,525 miles of border, the longest land boundary between two countries in the world.
The Department reports, “Approximately 400,000 people and over $1.6 billion in goods cross the Northern Border daily through more than 120 POEs (Ports of Entry). DHS has committed significant personnel resources to securing the Northern Border, including over 3,600 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers and 2,200 U.S. Border Patrol Agents.”
Higgins has routinely supported resources for increased border staffing in the federal budget.
The full text of the letter<https://higgins.house.gov/sites/higgins.house.gov/files/DHS%2041119%20Final.pdf> sent by Higgins is below:
April 11, 2019
The Honorable Kevin McAleenanActing SecretaryDepartment of Homeland SecurityWashington, D.C. 20528 Acting Secretary McAleenan:
I am writing to express my dismay and utmost concern at the Department of Homeland Security’s effort to reposition CBP officers currently stationed for duty at Land Ports of Entry (LPOEs) at the Northern Border and airports to assist and support Border Patrol at the Southwest Border.
This trend could have a demonstrably negative impact on the functioning of LPOEs at the Northern Border and the communities and economies served by them. As a Member of the House of Representatives representing a district bordering Canada that includes four LPOEs that accommodate significant daily and passenger and freight traffic, this move is a significant cause for concern.
This Administration has manufactured a crisis at the Southern Border for political gain, complicating our country’s immigration laws to the near breaking point.
This is unacceptable enough, but to subject the northern border of this country to unreasonable border delay and further jeopardize its own security merely to augment this folly for political gain is disrespectful to the public servants who seek to protect our country on a daily basis. Rather than addressing border challenges in a responsible way, this move expands them.
Due to this proposed shift, the security and expediency of the current flow of traffic at the Northern Border is now expected to suffer on account of the Administration’s actions.
According to DHS data, approximately 400,000 people and over $1.6 billion in goods cross the Northern Border daily through more than 120 POEs.
This move will have a substantial impact on the functioning of Northern Border ports of entry, including processing and wait times for both people and goods crossing between Canada and the United States.
As a representative of a border district, I believe it imperative that these channels of travel and commerce be maintained for the good of the economies and communities that are supported by them. I strongly encourage the Department of Homeland Security to abandon any efforts to reallocate Northern personnel to the southern border.
I look forward to a prompt response to this letter from you. Sincerely, Brian HigginsMember of Congress Congressman Higgins is Co-chair of the Northern Border Caucus and was recently nominated to head-up the Canada-US Inter-Parliamentary Group.
He currently serves as a member of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee including its subcommittee on Trade as well as the House Budget Committee. He previously served as a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security Committees.
Higgins’ Western New York district, which encompasses the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, borders Southern Ontario and includes three automobile and two rail crossings between the United States and Canada.
To read a recent Buffalo News story on this issue, click on – https://buffalonews.com/2019/04/12/pending-transfer-of-customs-officers-raises-worries-about-bridge-backups/ .
To read a piece Niagara At Large posted in 2012 on the closing of the Canadian Consulate Office in Buffalo, New York, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2012/06/17/niagara-ontario-regional-chair-urges-harper-government-not-to-close-canadian-consulate-in-buffalo-new-york/ .
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