BREAKING: Furloughs and Cutting of Manpower at the Border to Be Reconsidered

Posted: Apr 01, 2013 2:16 PM

Customs and Border Protection [CBP] has sent a notice to Border Patrol agents informing them that previously announced furloughs, in addition to cutting of hours and manpower at the border, are being reconsidered.

"To the men and women of CBP: As you are aware, President Obama last week signed into law an appropriations bill that funded CBP for this fiscal year.  I have been working closely with our budget office in analyzing the bill. Although the budget reductions imposed by sequestration are significant, the bill’s provisions allow CBP to mitigate to some degree the impacts of the reduced budget on operations and on CBP’s workforce," Deputy Commissioner of CBP Thomas S. Winkowski wrote in a memo. "In light of the new funding bill, we are re-evaluating previously planned furloughs and de-authorization of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO), and will postpone implementation of both changes pending that re-examination.  We are doing everything we can to minimize these impacts on CBP employees and will keep you updated as we continue to assess the exact impact the legislation will have on our operations and on our workforce. Please continue to proceed in a manner which ensures that we are able to carry out our national security mandate. Thank you for your understanding as we work through these issues and stressful times."

Despite the reconsideration, Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council Shawn Moran tells Townhall this doesn't necessarily mean the reversal will result in a secure border.

"The NBPC is cautiously optimistic about CBP's decision to postpone furloughs and the de-authorization of AUO.  We do have a well founded fear that CBP will not do the right thing, though, and ultimately make a decision that will leave the border in an insecure state," Moran said.

An official National Border Patrol Council member advisory states the move by CBP is what Border Patrol agents and their families deserve, and that agents deserve nothing less than total support.

"The National Border Patrol Council and its locals want to thank our union representatives, our members, Members of Congress, and concerned citizens for voicing their displeasure with Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) intent to slash staffing levels at the border. While the fight is by no means over and CBP has not issued definitive plans for its employees, they have signaled a willingness to reduce the impact both financially and operationally on Border Patrol agents," the advisory states. "The National Border Patrol Council sees this as a result of the public outcry to secure this nation's borders and to fairly compensate Border Patrol agents."