Customs and Border Protection re-evaluating planned furloughs

MIAMI - The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is re-evaluating its planned furloughs because of automatic spending cuts imposed by the federal government.

In a statement released Monday, the department said it's also reconsidering its plan to de-authorize overtime and is postponing the implementation of both.

"Although the budget reductions imposed by sequestration are significant, the bill's provisions allow CBP to mitigate to some degree the impacts of the reduced budget on operations and on CBP's workforce," read the statement.

The automatic spending cuts began March 1.

On Sunday, some Carnival Freedom passengers waited hours to clear immigration and customs at Port Everglades, but the problem was blamed on passengers who got on the ship at other ports but hadn't been on the ship when it left Port Everglades.

Those passengers had to undergo a lengthier check through immigration, leading to waits lasting up to three hours.

Glen Wiltshire, the deputy director at Port Everglades, said he has asked for more CBP staffing at the third-large cruise port in the world.

"We focus on ensuring that the customer that passes through the port gets the services that they expect, and we want to leave them with a positive impression, not just of Port Everglades, but of Broward County and South Florida," he said.

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