By Adina Moloman
Sources: Global Post, San Diego Red, ABC News
US President Obama announced $85 billion in automatic budget cuts that are set to take effect starting March 2013.
Deep cuts in US public spending will bring economic and security consequences at the border between the United States and Mexico, one of the busiest in the world.
Homeland Security department is expecting a diminished in its funding by an amount equivalent to the salaries of 5,000 border agents. The US government also indicated its intent to cease Tethered Aerostat Radar System, or TARS (an aerostat-borne, surveillance program). These defense radars detect low flying aircraft infiltrating the borders.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) budget cuts could mean longer lines for airline passengers (especially those entering the U.S.) and a slowdown of people and goods crossing at land borders with Mexico in particular (around 350 million people crossing back and forth every day) and with Canada also. Of all goods moved in U.S.-International trade, more than one out of every three dollars is with Canada and Mexico.
The exchange of goods and services between the US and Mexico are adding billions of dollars into US economy.
Mexican Maquiladoras are dedicated primarily (around 80%) to export to the United States. Trucks, through the main ports of entry, move most of the goods.
Budget cuts means the reduction of Border Patrol hours and Coast Guard operations, which means longer lines at the ports of entry with direct consequences on the economic activity.
It could now take up to 5 hours also for passengers to cross from Mexico to the United States, double than usual.
The immigration flow from Mexico has practically dried up (around 50 percent since 2008), but now with fewer agents at the borders is expecting to rise again.