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TSA Workers Are Moving to the Southwest Border. Will Airport Security Be Affected?

By Robert Firpo-Cappiello
September 29, 2021
A sign reads "airport security" at an airport.
Colicaranica/Dreamstime
More than 500 TSA workers will be redeployed to the border to help with immigration duties, CNN reports.

CNN reports that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) plans to send up to 175 law enforcement officials and up to “400 people from Security Ops” to the Southwest border to assist with immigration duties, according to an internal email obtained by CNN.

TSA May Face Depleted Resources

According to the CNN report, TSA acknowledges that the “immediate need” at the border presents “some risk” of depleted aviation security. The effort will not involve TSA’s airport screeners—the most visible part of the TSA’s daily activities—but will involve employees who work in behind-the-scenes security roles, including monitoring airport security lines, conducting airport sweeps, and working with local and state law enforcement officials.

Will Your Travel Experience Be Affected?

Because the move of TSA workers to the border will not initially involve uniformed screeners, chances are most travelers will not immediately experience longer lines or wait times at airport security. However, the effect on behind-the-scenes security initiatives—arguably as crucial to TSA’s mission as routine screening—remains to be seen.

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If you experience longer-than-usual wait times at airport security, please share your stories in the comments below.

This story is evolving, and Budget Travel will continue to follow developments that may have a direct impact on air travelers.

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