Congress Approves Bill Requiring DHS to Recruit Vets for Border Jobs
New legislation approved by Congress will require the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to “actively recruit” members of the armed service who are separating from the military to become CBP officers.
The Border Jobs for Veterans Act (H.R. 2835), introduced by Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), was approved unanimously by both the House and Senate, and now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.
The legislation states than an “estimated 250,000 to 300,000 members of the Armed Forces separate from military service every year,” and that CBP should draw from that pool of talent in meeting its “congressional funded staffing target of 23,775 officers for fiscal year 2015,” in filling positions for officers in law and trade enforcement positions.
The legislation requires DHS to work with the Defense Department to identify Military Occupational Specialty Codes, Air Force Specialty Codes, Naval Enlisted Classifications and Officer Designators, and Coast Guard Competencies (qualifications) that are transferable to the requirements and duties assigned to CBP officers and to consider hiring qualified veterans for CBP officer positions.
In a press statement following the passage of the bill in the House, Rep. McSally called the bill a “win-win for our district,” noting that “it boosts staffing at our ports of entry and helps returning service members find jobs, and is the result of numerous conversations I’ve had with CBP officers working along our border. The failure to fully staff our ports slows trade coming across the border, hurting not just local communities, but our entire region’s reputation as a leading trade hub. My bill helps to solve this problem by ensuring the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security are working together to fill these positions with already trained and qualified veterans.”
Posted in General News