U.S. Rep. McSally Stresses Need for New Douglas Port of Entry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today engaged administration officials at a Homeland Security Committee hearing on the need for a new port of entry in Douglas, Arizona. The Douglas Port accounts for nearly $4 billion in trade through two-way truck traffic, which has grown by 5% a year since 2010. A 2007 report, however, determined the port’s current infrastructure would not allow it to meet its mission over the next five years.
“We can’t wait any longer. Douglas is dependent on the two-way traffic and trade with Mexico, but lacks the infrastructure needed to meet current or future demand at its port,” said Rep. McSally. “I’ve met with city and port officials on numerous occasions and seen first-hand the need for expanding this infrastructure. I’m encouraged by the responses we received today and commitment from the Administration to work with us on our options.”
Rep. McSally consistently has pressed the Administration to prioritize the Douglas Port of Entry project. On June 30, she sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske calling on him to explain the next steps needed to advance a proposed port expansion.
Rep. McSally also has pushed for increased manning at local land ports, and recently succeeded in advancing her bill, the Border Jobs for Veterans Act, into law. During the hearing, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Field Operations John Wagner expressed his support for the new law in helping his department meet manning shortages.
“I’ll be meeting with senior DoD officials tomorrow to start to work on that,” said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Wagner. “We’re highly supportive of that and I’m very confident we can find 800 veterans that can fit our requirement so we can get them into these positions. So thank you for supporting that and really pushing us and DoD to come to the table and work that out.”