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Saturday, February 4th, 2023

Legislation seeks to support CBP personnel behavioral health

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U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and John Katko (R-NY), ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, recently introduced the CBP Behavioral Health Act, which seeks to provide behavioral health support to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel working to secure the Southwest border.

“I am proud to work to ensure our brave border patrol agents have the mental health support they deserve,” Stefanik said. “Joe Biden’s failure to uphold the laws at our southern border has unfairly taken its toll on our brave border patrol agents. In the face of this crisis, I am proud to stand up for our border patrol agents and ensure they have the resources, support, and access to care they deserve.”

Legislation provisions, per officials, include requiring CBP to hire behavioral health providers and create a comprehensive behavioral health program enabling CBP personnel to seek the resources needed to continue protecting the United States; establishing within CBP and at all initial entry training sites a Behavioral Health Readiness Office; requiring the CBP Commissioner to provide alternative employment opportunities to CBP personnel determined to be permanently unable to fulfill assigned duties due to behavioral health concerns; and requiring the CBP Commissioner to establish an appeals process for individuals who fall under such a determination.

“Our nation’s Border Patrol agents and CBP personnel are heroes,” Katko said. “We are losing far too many to the impacts of the untenable working environment they are forced to operate in as a result of the Biden Administration’s failed policies and refusal to enforce the rule of law. Border Patrol agents and CBP personnel have been forced to contend with the traumatic human toll of the border crisis on a daily basis, all while facing unfounded attacks and vilification from within the administration.”