“My district relies on trade and agriculture, so ensuring that these Texas economic sectors remain secure from pests and foreign animal diseases was a priority for me. The hardworking agriculture specialists and technicians at our ports of entry must have the resources they need to keep our country safe, and this legislation ensures that our ports of entry are appropriately staffed to carry out essential agriculture quarantine inspections. I worked across the aisle and with my counterparts in the Senate to ensure that we got this bill passed in both chambers and I’m proud of the work we have accomplished,” Vela told Border Report on Tuesday.

Vela said safeguarding U.S. agriculture is crucial — generating $1 trillion annually in economic activity.

Inspectors are critical to helping uphold the Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Program, which is jointly administered by CBP and the USDA to ensure that unwanted insects and invasive pests and foreign animal diseases like African swine fever, as well as illegal Valentine’s Day flowers, don’t enter U.S. soil, lawmakers said.

Continue Reading…