Senators Murray, Cantwell Secure Increased Northern Border Funding

Dec 08 2001

Legislation provides 105% increase in INS inspectors, 60% increase in Border Patrol agents over current staffing levels

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today announced they had succeeded in their efforts to include critical funding to increase security and efficiency along the Northern Border in the Senate's Department of Defense Appropriations bill.

The bill provides $55.8 million for 500 additional INS inspectors at the Northern Border. This increased level of funding would add 200 more inspectors than the President's request and represent a 105 percent increase over current staffing levels at the Northern Border. The bill would also provide $23.9 million -- $14.8 million more than the President's request -- for the transfer cost of 100 border patrol agents plus 100 new agents, doubling the President's request over current staff.

The bill would also provide $99.6 million for construction and leasing of facilities to alleviate overcrowding as staffing for Customs, INS and border patrol agents increases at the Northern Border.

"For the past nine years I have been working to increase security along the Northern Border to make sure that we have the agents and technology needed to protect our national security and to facilitate trade with Canada," Senator Murray said. "It is great news that Congress has finally come together to help meet the concerns at the Northern Border."

"Doubling inspectors will speed border crossings and increase security, and that means more jobs and economic growth for our ports of entry," said Senator Cantwell. "The coalition of twenty-two northern border Senators has been clear in its mission to increase northern border security, and tonight is a major victory for our goal."

Throughout her tenure in the Senate, Senator Murray has worked to increase security along the northern border and to facilitate trade with Canada.

After the September 11 attacks, Senator Cantwell organized a coalition of twenty-two northern border Senators to build strength for legislation that would strengthen security and increase efficiency along the northern border.