Surprised no one has brought this up. According to an article I read this AM, there are approx. 88,000 people in the Dept of Homeland Security. Of that 60,000 are assigned to Border Patrol and Customs. 5,000 were furloughed outright (told to stay home) and 55,000 are WORKING WITHOUT PAY.

I'd be interested in hearing from folks who have gone thru US Customs as part of the cruise experience. Especially, but not limited to debarcation...Delays? Attitudes? anything at all?

4 Answers

I also hear that many of those working without pay are calling in sick which would mean either a quick pass with minimal inspection or a longer line up having fewer cranky officers inspecting.

We have heard that the lines for TSA screening at the airport are long. But don't know any of this first-hand. Interested to know the answers to your query.Surprised

I haven't traveled yet during the furlough, however as far as the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) goes, there is probably not any difference. The agents know that they will eventually be paid. This is not to say that the agents may be a bit more curt in their demeanor (after all, they are wondering if they will be able to pay bills next week) but the normal amount of staff should be at the ports (both air and sea).

In order to counter a shortage of staff due to illness, they will have other officers or agents work overtime to cover the spot.

TSA may be a different animal (they are not paid as well as CBP) and may be coming down with a case of the "blue flu" (reported in the "reliable" press, but not confirmed), but I am sure that the management is doing what they can with what they have to work with.

We drove to the US and crossed at Osoyoos BC just last weekend. the border patrol officer couldn’t have been nicer. There was no kind of armosphere to indicate he was “volunteering” his time, at all.

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