Lawmakers Concerned About Ports of Entry Infrastructure

Border Subcommittee Concerned About Ports of Entry Infrastructure

( – Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., and Senator Kyrsten Sinema, I, Ari., are trying to get ahead of potential border issues by making sure that the infrastructure at ports of entry is sufficient to handle increased traffic when Title 42 ends. In a letter to General Services Admission (GSA), Senators Lankford and Sinema requested responses to several questions regarding U.S. Customs and Border Protection, voicing their concerns “that GSA’s work has not provided CBP with what they need,” noting the absence of improvements to Land Ports of Entry (LPOEs) in over a decade.

The senators mentioned both the northern and southern borders in the letter, emphasizing that GSA did not modernize the LPOEs after the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA) was signed, which requires a certain amount of trade between the three countries. The increase in trade, in addition to constant growth, both regionally and globally, has been placed a strain on the LPOEs. Improving the infrastructure to these ports of entry could reduce wait times, increase the flow of containers through the southern border, and help combat supply chain issues to accommodate trade between the nations.

The lawmakers also believe that the failure to improve the infrastructure of the LPOEs has prevented the ability to stop the flow of fentanyl across the southern border, which has been steadily increasing, especially in the last two years. Deaths from fentanyl in the United States reportedly went up by 22% in 2022, prompting many lawmakers to call on the Biden administration to change their policies at the southern border. Breitbart News reported that when Title 42 comes to an end in May 2023, the Department of Homeland Security is expecting over 10,000 border crossers every single day.

Senators Lankford and Sinema told GSA that the deficient LPOEs and the increase flow of migrants could cause “significant impacts on cross-border trade and security.” The senators requested a response to the questions from the subcommittee by March 31st, 2023.

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