Sequestration Cuts Will Slash Border Patrol, Hobble Border Trade
February 26, 2013

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- If Congress isn’t able to avoid the automatic budget cuts of sequestration on March 1, border protection and legitimate border traffic could suffer.

Within the $2.4 trillion deficit reduction required by the budget sequestration are cuts that will slash into federal operation along the U.S.-Mexico border.

At a congressional hearing on border security Tuesday, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher testified.

“Certainly without question, if on March 1 if sequestration does happen the Border Patrol will have reduced capability," Fisher said.

Fisher said the Border Patrol will move resources around to counter the cuts, but it will still have an impact.

And for those crossing at border bridges, the sequestration translates into even longer waits.

Kevin McAleenan is the Acting Assistant Commissioner for U.S. Customs.

“It would be about 2,750 officers cut, about 12.5 percent of our staff. The ports of entry would have significant impact on wait times and our ability to move people and things through the border," McAleenan said.

According to U.S. Customs, without a deal to override sequestration it could take up to five hours to cross a border bridge.