U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is calling on Customs and Border Protection to increase the number of agents working at the Peace Bridge.
Schumer will be in Buffalo Monday to question recent cutbacks in federal agents at area border crossings, which he says have resulted in lane closures and increased wait times. Schumer said not only are the delays frustrating for drivers, they also hurt the local economy.
Schumer wants the CBP to increase the number of border agents in Buffalo, and explain why recently lane closures have become more frequent.
"According to local border and Peace Bridge Authority officials, cutbacks in border agents have been significant recently: some estimate that as many as 60 agents have been cut from the Buffalo Border in the past 18 months," noted in a news advisory issued by Schumer's offic.
Reductions have led to lane closures and backups that Senator Schumer said are not "only frustrating, but hurt the local economy." "According to CBP’s 2013 Resource Optimization Strategy report, for every additional agent at a US Port of Entry the local economy sees a $2 million boost and 33 new jobs."
Schumer noted this has a negative impact on the Western New York economy with each reduction makes it unacceptable.
Schumer will be joined by Buffalo-Niagara Partnership President Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Oishei Foundation President Robert Gioia and representatives from the local shipping industry.