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PASSED: Lankford’s Solution for Border Patrol Recruitment Passes First Senate Hurdle

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), lead Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, joined by Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Chair of the Subcommittee, announced passage of the Border Patrol Enhancement Act out of Committee. The purpose of the bill is to strengthen our border security by ensuring that Border Patrol can hire, train, and pay the highest quality law enforcement officers and agents. 

“During the overwhelming surge of illegal crossings from Mexico, Border Patrol Agents have sacrificed their family and personal time day after day to protect our nation without overtime pay. The nation is grateful for their incredible sacrifice, but it is past time to compensate them for all their hard work. This bill we passed out of the Homeland Security Committee finally gives the Border Patrol Agents the support they deserve,” said Lankford. “The Biden Administration has tied the hands of our Border Patrol and worked them long hours without extra pay which has directly affect morale, recruiting, and retention. The full Senate now needs to pass the Border Patrol Enhancement Act.”

“A secure border relies on a strong Border Patrol and CBP workforce. Our bipartisan bill increases staffing levels and resources so that our agents can crack down on drug smuggling, human tracking, and other dangerous crimes to keep Arizonans safe and secure,” said Sinema.

Brandon Judd, President, National Border Patrol Council celebrated the Senators’ work by saying, “We will never be able to secure our borders without brave men and women on the frontlines enforcing our laws and ensuring that dangerous people and contraband don’t make it into the homeland. Over the past decade, the Border Patrol’s struggles to retain our employees has turned into a full-blown attrition crisis. This crisis will only get worse in the coming years as a surge of retirements are forecast to occur, meaning even less personnel in the field and even greater gaps in coverage along our border. Thankfully, because of the tireless work and leadership of Senators Lankford, Sinema, and Chairman Peters, Congress has taken the first step to end this attrition crisis, build back the Border Patrol workforce and in doing so, significantly improve border security. On behalf of rank-and-file Border Patrol Agents nationwide, the National Border Patrol Council expresses our gratitude to Senators Lankford, Sinema and Peters, and urges Congress to swiftly enact S. 1444, the Border Patrol Enhancement Act.”   

Background

The Border Patrol Enhancement Act would provide a much-needed pay raise for our Border Patrol agents during this current border crisis by ensuring that they are fairly paid for the overtime hours they work as well as increase the number of total Border Patrol agents to ensure that Border Patrol has the agents they need to secure the border. The legislation also standardizes professional development and training requirements for all Border Patrol agents.

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