Currently, the U.S. is facing a shortage of roughly 700 border security professionals at points of entry into the U.S. These workers prevent harmful ag products, pests and other diseases from entering the country.
Earlier this week, the Protecting America’s Food and Agriculture Act of 2019 passed the House of Representatives and is headed to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, sponsored the bipartisan bill, and he is very excited about the next step.
“It’ll allow us to hire more inspectors,” he said. “It’ll also allow us to have a higher support staff that will support those inspectors, and every bit is important. It’ll increase the number of canine teams to fill shortages, and canine teams are particularly important because there’s nothing more sophisticated than a dogs nose in helping our inspectors ensure they keep us safe.”
Peters says he’s pleased the bill will be able to get border control the resources they need to keep protecting our agriculture producers across the country.
“It authorizes up to 240 inspectors to be hired each year as well as 200 support personnel until they get to the 600 agricultural inspectors,” said Peters. “It also authorizes up to 20 canine teams every three years.”