60,000 Customs, Border Patrol agents face furloughs

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Some 60,000 Customs and Border Protection agents and other employees will be furloughed for up to 14 days, according to notices dated Thursday. The furloughs could begin April 21 and last through the end to the fiscal year in September, according to the notice, which attributes the move to across-the-board budget cuts that began taking effect March 1.

“I am keenly aware of the financial impact of a furlough on each CBP employee,” Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar said in an email to workers earlier this week. “We will implement only the absolute minimum number of furlough days required within CBP’s budget.”

The agency is also freezing hiring, reducing overtime and comp time, and curtailing travel and training, Aguilar said.

Because of budget uncertainties, the number of furlough hours per pay period may vary, according to Thursday’s notice. If furloughs are needed, employees will be told before each pay period how much unpaid time off they’ll need to take off “to allow CBP to meet its financial obligations,” it added.

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