McSally, Sinema, Grijalva, Schweikert, Kirkpatrick, O’Halleran Urge Trump To Nix Inspection Facility Plans

human smuggling
The interior of the trailer was nearly 100 degrees. [Photo provided by CBP]

Senators Martha McSally, and Kyrsten Sinema, and Representatives David Schweikert, Raúl Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Tom O’Halleran urged the Trump Administration to refrain from building additional inspection facilities at Arizona’s ports of entry. The group claims that more inspection facilities “would drastically impede trade with the state’s top trading partner.”

McSally led members of the Arizona delegation to express significant concerns regarding proposals by the General Services Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to build new commercial truck inspection facilities near the Nogales – Mariposa and San Luis II land ports of entry, according to McSally’s press release.

“The land ports of entry in Arizona are integral to the state’s economy,” the group wrote. “Delays at the ports of entry slow down lawful commerce, and I have worked closely with the administration to increase efficiency while maintaining security at the ports. But when commercial truck drivers face unnecessary waits at inspection stations after crossing the border, our efforts to make the ports more efficient are wasted.”

“I have applauded the efforts by the administration to promote cooperation and coordination between the federal government and states, and the innovative approach to truck inspections at the land ports of entry in Arizona should be a model of how states and the federal government can work together. Building new inspection facilities to be used solely by FMCSA would be wasteful and only impede collaboration. I respectfully urge you to withdraw any plans to build such facilities,” the letter concluded.

Full text of letter:

Emily W. Murphy
Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
1800 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20405

Raymond P. Martinez
Administrator
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Dear Administrator Murphy and Administrator Martinez:

I am writing to express significant concerns regarding proposals by the General Services Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) to build new commercial truck inspection facilities near the Nogales – Mariposa and San Luis II land ports of entry. These potential facilities, which are strongly opposed by the communities in which they would be located, would undo the efficiency and safety gains made by the collaborative approach to inspections undertaken by the FMCSA and the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The land ports of entry in Arizona are integral to the state’s economy. Delays at the ports of entry slow down lawful commerce, and I have worked closely with the administration to increase efficiency while maintaining security at the ports. But when commercial truck drivers face unnecessary waits at inspection stations after crossing the border, our efforts to make the ports more efficient are wasted. By working closely with the FMCSA, the Arizona Department of Transportation has implemented a holistic approach to commercial truck inspections that has improved safety, reduced wait times, and eliminated redundancies.

I have applauded the efforts by the administration to promote cooperation and coordination between the federal government and states, and the innovative approach to truck inspections at the land ports of entry in Arizona should be a model of how states and the federal government can work together. Building new inspection facilities to be used solely by FMCSA would be wasteful and only impede collaboration. I respectfully urge you to withdraw any plans to build such facilities.

Thank you very much for your consideration of my views.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a majority of drugs seized come through inspection stations. In the first 11 months of the 2018 fiscal year, 90 percent of heroin, 88 percent of cocaine, 87 percent of methamphetamine, and 80 percent of fentanyl was seized at legal crossing points.

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