A bill introduced by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz would stop federal agencies from closing ports of entry in order to process people attempting to cross U.S./Mexico border.
Cruz recently introduced the Keeping International Land Ports of Entry Open Act to prevent the Department of Homeland Security from diverting staff from ports of entry along the southwest border to assist with border processing “unless such transfer would not impact the processing of trade through such port of entry, such staff would be immediately replaced, or such staff are needed to actively engage in physical detentions to secure such border. “
“Shutting down lawful commerce to welcome illegal aliens is unacceptable,” a news release from Cruz’s office stated.
According to Cruz, the Biden Administration closed four ports of entry in December 2023, resulting in the loss of $250 million in commerce per day.
The bill is supported by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Texas Trucking Association, the National Feed and Grain Association, and the Association of American Railroads.
The bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
“Joe Biden is harming American farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, truckers, and consumers by prioritizing welcoming illegal aliens over facilitating lawful commerce. Joe Biden’s policy of transferring CBP agents from facilitating commercial border crossings to instead welcoming in illegal aliens has caused millions of dollars of economic damage. My bill ensures that lawful commerce will continue to invest in the Texas economy by prohibiting the Biden administration for closing ports of entry on the Southern border except in limited circumstances, such as physically assisting Border Patrol in detentions,” said Cruz.
“Millions of American jobs depend on trucks to seamlessly deliver cargo between the United States and its most important trading partners, Mexico and Canada. That’s why the efficient processing of this freight at all land ports of entry is critical to the continuity of our supply chain and our economy. Reducing staffing at checkpoints by reassigning overworked CBP officers does not solve the underlying problems at the border; it simply creates new ones. We support Senator Cruz’s effort to help ensure that cross-border trade remains a priority and that CBP retains the resources necessary to facilitate the flow of international commerce,” said Ed Gilroy, Chief Advocacy and Public Affairs Officer for the ATA.