POSTED: Friday, March 4, 2011 - 5:41pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 5:52pm
EL PASO-- It's overtime pay and maintenance costs that worry the president of the union that represents border patrol agents.
Jim Stack says the new budget proposed by Customs and Border Protection could cut an agent's overtime by 30 percent.
"We anticipate that there may be a number of Border Patrol agents that have been hired over the last two years that are going to leave because they can't afford 30 percent taken," Stack said.
U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes said no one knows if the budget will be cut but the numbers he's heard could take a toll on our borders.
"There are proposals that go from $300 million to a little over $800 million that would directly effect border patrol," Reyes said.
The Department of Homeland Security will decide where cuts are made, but Reyes said his primary concern isn't money it's safety.
"You can't say that you want to make sure the country is safe and secure and then cut the front line agency," Reyes said.
Stack says Border Patrol agents don't work 9 to 5 jobs. Agents are on duty an average of 10 hours a day and getting their overtime cut could cause them to re-think their career choices.
"They have families, wives, children they have mortgages to pay just like everybody else. A 30% cut of overtime pay is huge," Stack said.
Reyes says both the House and Senate agreed to negotiate and meet again on March 18th, but it could be until september until the issue is resolved.