POSTED: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 5:47pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 9:38am
CAMERON COUNTY, TEXAS (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — The sequester means big cuts for the Department of Homeland Security which includes the US Coast Guard and US Customs and Border Protection.
DHS will see cuts totaling nearly 3 billion dollars.
"US Congressman Henry Cuellar says one of the biggest places affected by the sequester is here at our international bridges, as he says the cuts will affect US Customs and Border Protection employees causing longer lines."
"Right now since we don't have enough personnel, those folks are working overtime, this means they are just going to put in the 8 hours and not extra hours, so that means lines are going to be longer simply because of that."
"Possibly they will starting working one day less, for now they are cutting the overtime.” said Cuellar.
Jim Davidson walked across the Gateway International Bridge from Matamoros to the US side. He says he has already seen a change in the wait time.
"The lines are defiantly longer than last time I was here, it's been awhile, but the walking and driving looks like it's a longer line."
Gloria Martinez is at the Gateway International Bridge waiting from her grandmother who is from Monterrey to walk across from Mexico to the US.
"I think it’s not that great, they have to wait in lines especially in the cold weather, imagine when it gets colder they are going to have to wait longer especially during the holiday seasons I don’t think it’s good and I don’t think they should cut down on border patrol either." said Martinez.
The cuts will also have an impact on the waterways. Congressman Cuellar says the US Coast Guard Maritimes operations will be curtailed by 23%.
"Which means that is they want to intersect drugs or illegal fishing or anyone coming in the United States Maritime safety across the mission areas will have to be cut."
For now US Customs and the Coast Guard says they will do their best to continue protecting our country to the best of their ability.