August 14, 2006, - 4:07 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
Yet more absurdity at America’s Northern Border. Today, daily commuters coming from Windsor, Canada into the U.S. over the Ambassador Bridge had long delays at the Detroit entry point because of a stupid edict from top brass at Customs and Border Protection (CBP)–a Department of Homeland Security agency. They took away the border inspectors’ chairs in their booths.
It’s hard enough be a CBP inspector at the Detroit Ambassador Bridge from Canada. The bridge’s owner, Manuel “Matty” Moroun (an Arab of Lebanese descent who supports some “interesting” causes), constantly pressures inspectors and CBP bosses to speed up inspections and let people into the country. Ditto for the Big Three automakers, who have trucks coming in an out with parts and cars, and don’t care about security much. The CBP brass gives in to both and forces the inspector agents to speed things up and let people in, without adequate checks–to border agents dismay.
But, now it’s worse. Apparently, CBP officials feel the inspectors looked “too comfortable” in their toll booths. So the supervisors came and took all the chairs out of the booths. Now, they have to stand on their feet all day long. Nice way to make it even harder and less appealing to do adequate inspections of interlopers into America with nefarious intents.
In what is being called a “unofficial retaliation,” the inspectors are taking five to ten minutes to perform inspections on each vehicle even if there is no cause to run all of the checks.
So, today, there were likely a lot of angry Canadians, auto execs, and one dangerous bridge owner. Tough.
Although the CBP inspectors at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and at the Fort St. cargo facility did not also perform a “slow-down,” their chairs were taken away, too. The chairs have been taken away at many border inspection booths around the country.
But the only ones who should lose their seats–and their jobs–are the bozos supervising CBP booth operations. They are still seated, though, unfortunately.
Where is CBP Commissioner Ralph Basham (in Detroit this week just in time for the slow-down) on this issue? He did a good job at the U.S. Secret Service. Not so good, so far at CBP.
Tags: ambassador, Ambassador Bridge, America, America's Northern Border, Canada, CBP, Commissioner, dangerous bridge owner, Department of Homeland Security, Detroit, Detroit Ambassador Bridge, Detroit's Ambassador Bridge, Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, Fort St. cargo facility, Manuel "Matty" Moroun, owner, Ralph Basham, U.S. Secret Service, United States, Windsor