Extra customs officers to reduce wait time, boost economy - Tucson News Now

Extra customs officers to reduce wait time, boost economy

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NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Additional officers at the ports in Arizona could mean a boost in business for the state and even the country.

Customs and Border Protection will staff 120 more officer sin Nogales, 25 in Douglas and 25 in San Luis, according to a spokesperson for the agency.

The 170 is less than the requested 500 for southern Arizona,but U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva said it is a good first step. He said positive results from the larger workforce will provide support for future requests for additional officers.

"They justify the investment we made," he said. "They justify the catch up we're doing in terms of personnel."

Both Grijalva and Bruce Bracker, Chairman of Nogales PortAuthority, said they look forward to the extra officers staffing the traffic lanes that are typically closed and unused.

It's all a matter of decreasing the wait time for commercial trucks and tourists to Arizona so that they choose to enter the country here instead of New Mexico, Texas or California, according to Bracker.

"The economy will grow and when the economy grows that's good for everybody" he said.

This move is part of a larger effort by CBP to staff 2,000officers to 44 ports in 18 states across the country. Even if an area is not include in the project, Bracker said everyone should feel the benefits of this move as far north as Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

"You're creating jobs throughout the United States ," saidBracker. "A lot of people don't realize how much they trade with Mexico."

For every 33 additional CBP officers,the U.S. can potentially gain more than a 1,000 jobs, according to CBP research. The agency anticipates  an additional 17 million visitors across the country compared to 2012 numbers.

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