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Border Patrol to increase security efforts along Arizona-Mexico border

In this June 22, 2016 file photo, Border Patrol agent Eduardo Olmos walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, background, and San Diego in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

PHOENIX — The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is expected to increase security efforts along the Arizona-Mexico border after a series of initiatives were announced on Friday.

According to a press release, the agency said it will “increase manpower at strained and understaffed ports of entry along Arizona’s border with Mexico” through multiple initiatives.

The initiatives include requiring national recruiters to “prioritize recruitment for positions in Arizona,” expediting the hiring of former military members by accepting basic hiring requirement from the Department of Defense and, with approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, increasing incentive pay for positions in Arizona to 33 percent.

Assistant Commissioner Linda Jacksta announced the initiatives during a stakeholder meeting convened by U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Friday, the press release said.

In the release, Flake called the move “encouraging.”

“After years of working to boost manpower at ports of entry along Arizona’s border with Mexico, it’s encouraging to see CBP finally tacking its hiring problems head-on,” he said. “Securing these policy changes has been a major goal in the ongoing effort to facilitate trade and secure the border.”

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