Today U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the selection of five pilot project sites for a program that would allow local port communities to expand commerce through a reimbursable agreement with CBP. Congressman John Carter, Chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, commends the department on their selection of the sites, which included four in Texas.
"Last year, we authorized five pilot programs for these agreements, which will allow local governments to voluntarily reimburse CBP to put more officers in these areas and safely increase the flow of commerce. This is a great opportunity to leverage valuable local and Federal resources to decrease the unacceptable delays so many of our Texas ports have been experiencing for years. . This program is a significant step to help increase business and commerce in our local port communities, which play vital roles in our country's economic success," said Chairman Carter.
On May, 16 interested parties submitted applications to participate in the pilot program and have been anxiously waiting to find out which locations would be selected.
The following applicants were preliminarily selected to participate in reimbursable fee agreements:
1. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: Overtime staffing increase at DFW International Airport
2. The City of El Paso, Texas: Staffing increase at El Paso's land bridges
3. South Texas Assets Consortium: Staffing increase at land bridge systems in Laredo, Cameron County, Pharr, McAllen, and Rio Grande City, Texas
4. Houston Airports System: Overtime staffing increase at George Bush Intercontinental Airport
5. Miami-Dade County: Overtime staffing increase at Miami International Airport; Staffing increase at Port Miami
"I commend my colleagues, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX28), Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX16), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL25) and the Houston and Dallas delegations for the great work they do for their port cities and our country and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor as this program progresses," said Chairman Carter.
CBP will work with each of the selected parties to reach an agreement on how the services that were requested will be administered and how the funding reimbursements will work.
"I will be keeping a watchful eye on CBP's progress as this process moves forward" said Chairman Carter. "It is imperative that we continually work to keep our country safe and programs like this will ensure that our port cities/counties and states are able to flourish."