Cuts Loom For Patrols At U.S. - Canadian Border


Furloughs and fewer hours - that's what U.S. Border Patrol agents will face starting next month.

It doesn't matter that border enforcement is a 24/7 job.  

"This is a job that never stops. It doesn't close between midnight and 6 a.m," said Shawn Moran, spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council.

Border Patrol agents work a 50-hour week. 

The union says that has been in place for decades to maximize patrols. 

But starting April 7, the hours will be cut to 40 hours a week. 

Then 14 days worth of furloughs will be penciled in between mid-April and the end of September. 

Exactly when and how the furloughs will be implemented is still a matter of negotiations.

So, in a border region known for smuggling everything from drugs to humans, does this make it easier for the bad guys?

Border Patrol administrators say no - criminals will still be caught and prosecuted.

But the union says response time will be slower.

"I think it's a bad message there and I think it's a bad message to send all along the border," said Moran.

Of course there could be a way out if there's a budget agreement in Washington.

Friday, December 9, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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