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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Border Patrol Postpones Staff Furloughs

The agency had warned of long border waits and fewer agents on the ground, but those haven't come to pass.

The Customs and Border Protection Agency has postponed forced furloughs for its employees.

Photo by Katrina Farmer

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents began receiving furlough notices on March 7.

The agency had said sequester-related budget cuts would force the unpaid leave and elimination of staff overtime as early as this week. It had warned of longer waits to cross the border and fewer agents on the ground.

But in a memo over the weekend, the agency’s deputy commissioner said an appropriations bill signed by President Barack Obama last week had given Customs and Border Protection more flexibility to work around budget cuts that would affect the agency's workforce.

Unions representing the agency’s employees said the postponement was welcome news, but warned that it is temporary, and that future cuts still loom.

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