WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats and Republicans are demanding attention at the border between the U.S. and Canada.
“A number of inspection booths that are manned by customs and border protection agents, that are closed, that are vacant,” Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) said.
Higgins said there is a problem with long lines at the northern border.
“People have to wait up to an hour and a half to cross into the United States from Canada,” Higgins said.
Higgins said this is because Customs and Border Protection agents are getting redeployed from the northern border to the southern border and fewer border agents make it harder to cross from Canada into the U.S.
“You know what’s going to happen,” Higgins said. “People are going to turn around and go home.”
About 21 million people cross over from Canada every year and spend nearly $21 billion in the U.S. Higgins fears the border delays will slow down the flow of that money into the communities that rely on it.
“Our economies are deeply interdependent and our life qualities are deeply interdependent,” Higgins said.
He and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) are calling on border patrol to address the shortage. They say the way CBP is handling the situation at the southern border is making it harder to recruit up north.
“Because there is a likelihood they will be redeployed,” Higgins said.
In a letter, Stefanik demanded CBP “maintain requisite resources at the Northern Border to allow for its proper functioning.”
Higgins points out that many communities are trying to restore to pre-pandemic levels, but will not make progress unless a change is made.