76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008



WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has the dual role of facilitating trade and travel while ensuring the safety and security of our country; and

WHEREAS, CBP is the lead federal agency in charge of inspecting travelers entering the country at more than 300 international air, land, and sea ports of entry; and

WHEREAS, CBP is responsible for protecting against entry of illegal persons, contraband, and cargo through our international ports; and

WHEREAS, according to CBP’s own staffing model, the agency needs to hire up to 4,000 more CBP Officers and Agriculture Specialists, in addition to support personnel, in order to effectively perform its dual anti-terrorism, trade and travel facilitation mission; and

WHEREAS, the President’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget proposal would fund only 527 additional frontline CBP Officers and no additional CBP Agriculture Specialists hires; and

WHEREAS, a recent Government Accountability Office report (GAO08-219) documented that insufficient CBP staffing at the ports of entry has resulted in excessive overtime and scheduling that contribute to morale problems, fatigue, and safety issues, and that CBP is losing personnel faster than it can hire replacements; and

WHEREAS, inadequate infrastructure capacity at land border crossings is documented to create traffic congestion and delays for cross-border freight movements and personal trips that cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars in foregone gross output, labor income, and employment; and

WHEREAS, current CBP staffing at many of the largest international airports is not sufficient to clear passenger levels on a timely basis, and modeling forecasts anticipate increased delays, including holding airplanes and passengers on the tarmac, impacting scheduling and overall capacity; and

WHEREAS, Representative Silvestre Reyes introduced H.R. 5662 in the 110th Congress that would, subject to Congressional appropriations, authorize adequate increases in the number of full-time CBP Officers, CBP Agriculture Specialists, and security support personnel over the next four years, and would authorize an appropriation of $5 billion over five years to improve infrastructure at existing ports of entry and for other purposes outlined within infrastructure assessment studies required in prior law,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports enactment of legislation that would increase funding to assure adequate U.S. Customers and Border Protection staff resources and improve border entry infrastructure; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to increase FY 2009 funding levels for the U.S. Customers and Border Protection, but specifically requiring use of those funds to hire full-time CBP Officers, CBP Agriculture Specialists, and security support personnel solely to meet the needs at international air, land, and sea ports of entry.