US-Canada border transfers raise fear of delayed crossings
Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019 1:28PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 16, 2019 10:20AM EDT
Members of the U.S. Congress are worried there will be longer days for people seeking to enter the United States from Canada during the busy summer tourist season.
It’s because of the temporary transfer of hundreds of border agents from the north to the southern border of the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says 731 U.S.-Canada border agents from more than 300 land, sea and airports will help U.S.-Mexico border colleagues who have been overwhelmed by the apprehension of families and unaccompanied children from Central America.
“There's a large humanitarian and border security crisis going on at three particular sectors along the southwest border,” says Allan Booth, the Acting Deputy Chief for US Border Patrol Detroit Sector. “We simply aren't resourced and don't have the facilities to handle the demographic we're catching now."
14 members of Congress from seven northern border states are voicing concerns the transfers could hurt cross-border travel and commerce to the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security.
Windsor-Detroit commuters and cross border shoppers share those concerns.
“It’s just a jump and a skip but when you sitting in the tunnel and sitting the border for an hour, for me that's a little upsetting,” admits Nadia Gibson.
“It can take 10 minutes or a hour and a half,” says Gabrielle Dionne. “”So maybe they'll just have better planning if there's big events happening and make sure to staff more in those times."
In a statement to CTV Windsor, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says;
"Facilitation of legitimate trade and travel remains a priority for CBP at its 328 ports of entry nationwide. While the current Southwest border security and humanitarian crisis is impacting CBP operations, we are working to mitigate the effects as much as possible. Currently, CBP has temporarily re-assigned 731 CBP officers from ports around the nation to Border Patrol sectors where apprehensions of family units and unaccompanied children from Central America have overwhelmed Border Patrol capabilities and facilities. This includes CBP officers from Northern border ports, seaports, and airports in order to lessen the impact at any one particular port of entry. Travelers are urged to plan accordingly and check the CBP wait times page for the most up-to-date border crossing information."