Border agency plans to hire more than 2,000 new employees

| 3/6/2003

The Homeland Security Department will hire more than 2,000 new employees to patrol border areas, including 1,700 new inspectors at ports of entry, Secretary Tom Ridge said March 3.

The new hires, which include 570 Border Patrol agents, will be folded into the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, the new border security agency headed by former Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner.

The agency plans to put 615 additional inspectors at airports and 460 inspectors at key land ports such as the Ambassador Bridge/Detroit Tunnel port-of-entry along the U.S.-Canada border. Funds in the fiscal 2003 appropriations law will pay for the new staff.

The hiring campaign is part of a broader administration effort to improve the screening of people and goods at U.S. ports through better management and technology, Ridge said in a speech to the National Association of Counties in Washington.