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Why you can expect more delays and illegal activity on the border this year

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 8th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Customs and Border Protection has announced that furloughs of employees will begin in April and the public has been warned to expect longer delays at checkpoints. It is unclear how much the furloughs will affect border security.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, which have been broadly applied across several sectors of the government are expected to affect the Customs and Border Protection agency in April.

The agency has said it will address the cuts by furloughing workers. This will have the impact of delaying processing times for people and goods entering the country by as much as 150 to 200 percent.

David Agular, deputy commissioner has said the agency has been told to cut $754 million by September 30.

In addition to furloughs, the agency has said it will reduce or eliminate overtime, which many employees serve to boost their paychecks.

However, the agency has said it will persist in its commitment to catching those who enter the country illegally, intercepting and processing them as usual.

One of the problems with the expected furloughs is that work done by the Customs and Border Protection agency directly affects the economy. The agency actually collects more money than any other branch of the government aside from the Internal Revenue Service. The cuts will impact the national bottom line by delaying the entry of goods into the country and to market.

They will also make the border more porous because there will simply be less manpower available to perform essential tasks. A porous border means more illegal immigrants and contraband, including drugs, will likely pass into the country.

The impact of those individuals and contraband is difficult to assess, but it undoubtedly great.

At a time when the government must cut spending, we are confronted with broad, indiscriminate cuts which threaten vital national security measures as well as commerce. There is plenty of blame for such a problem, including both congressional Republicans and Democrats, as well as President Obama.

Obama refused to accept packages of tailored spending cuts because he preferred to simply raise taxes to close the budget gap.

Those traveling across the border and by airline have been advised to allow for much longer wait times.

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