New Cornyn, Peters Bill Will Improve Efficiency and Boost Safety at U.S. Ports of Entry

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Texas Border Business

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Gary Peters (D-MI) today introduced the United States Ports of Entry Threat and Operational Review Act, a bill to initiate an in-depth analysis of the strengths, opportunities, and vulnerabilities of land, sea, and air ports of entry so that we can promote more efficient trade and travel across our borders while targeting vulnerabilities to decrease illegal activity.

“Texas has long thrived on international trade and travel through our many ports, but we need to take a hard look at the vulnerabilities and inefficiencies in our system,” said Sen. Cornyn.  “We can find targeted solutions to enhance legitimate trade and travel across our borders while ensuring bad actors have fewer opportunities to thwart our system.”

“Ensuring the smooth and secure flow of goods through every air, land and sea port is vital for economic growth in Michigan and across our country,” said Senator Peters. “This bipartisan legislation would help ensure our ports of entry are better equipped to safely and efficiently handle high volumes of trade and travel and secure Michigan’s role as a growing hub for international commerce.”

The United States Ports of Entry Threat and Operational Review Act requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit a threat and operational analysis of ports of entry, including:

  • current and potential threats posed by individuals and organized groups seeking to exploit security vulnerabilities at ports of entry or to unlawfully enter the United States through such ports of entry;
  • methods and pathways used to exploit security vulnerabilities at ports of entry;
  • improvements needed at ports of entry to prevent the unlawful movement of people, illicit drugs, and other contraband across our borders;
  • improvements needed to enhance travel and trade facilitation and reduce wait times at ports of entry;
  • processes conducted at ports of entry that do not require law enforcement training that could be fulfilled with private sector employees or non-law enforcement staff; and
  • improvements needed during secondary inspections to meet food safety standards.

This analysis should consider personnel needs, technology needs, and infrastructure needs at each port of entry, including their associated costs.  It should suggest strategies to mitigate threats, reduce wait times, prevent unlawful activity, focus intelligence collection, identify fraudulent documents, prevent corruption, and adequately staff each port of entry.

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