Legislation would prevent closure of commercial ports of entry

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Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would prohibit President Joe Biden from closing commercial ports of entry and having Customs and Border Protection staff process illegal aliens.

The Keeping International Land Ports of Entry Open Act would prevent the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from diverting staff away from ports of entry unless there is a delineated exception such as needing to physically secure the border.

DHS staff also would be prohibited from being transferred from an international land port of entry along the southwest border unless the transfer would not impact the processing of trade.

Finally, the bill would require the secretary of Homeland Security to notify Congress which exception applies if there is a need to relocate staff or close a port of entry.

The bill has the support of the American Trucking Association, the Association of American Railroads, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and the Texas Trucking Association.

“As policymakers work to address the unprecedented humanitarian crisis at the border, it is critical to also protect our supply chain, American businesses, and communities by keeping goods flowing between the U.S. and Mexico,” Ian Jefferies, Association of American Railroads CEO, said.

The bill is in response to four border ports of entry that were closed in December.