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Local CBP union says more officers needed at ports of entry

Local CBP union says more officers needed at ports of entry

People are always coming and going through the ports of entry in El Paso.

Despite the pressing border security debate in Washington, some members of the local Customs and Border Protection officers’ union say the ports are secure.

"We have all of the officers on the border, we have Border Patrol and, as we all know on the El Paso border, we have a fence,” Yvonne Sagarivay, El Paso CBP union member, said.

Some of the members we spoke to say there is something that can be done to help them out.

"As far as making it better, staffing has always been an issue at the Port of El Paso and CBP-wide,” James Estrada Jr., an El Paso CBP union member, said.

"The issue has always been staffing,” Sagarivay said.

“There's always been an issue with short staffing."

Staffing may be on their minds, but there is something else coming Feb. 15.

That's the day that the federal government could partially shut down again. It's something they must be ready for.

"It's kind of like a halt on everything. You already have been through it, so you hesitate on making any expenses, going to the movies, going out to dinner,” Estrada said.

“Having that extra padding just in case we do miss another check."

Some members feel the debate about border security is making officers' needs seem less clear.

"I don't agree with what's happening. I think it's political,” Sagarivay said. “Yeah, it's all being politicized, and they're kind of missing the point."

All they say they can do is tune out the noise.

"You have to turn it off when you get on the job,” Estrada said.

“You can't allow the outside distractions to influence you or affect you, because we have to be cognizant of what we are doing and what we are there to do."

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