DERBY, Vt. - Our neighbors to the north remain an important part of Vermont’s economy.
“55% of Jay Peak’s customers come from Canada,” said Bill Stenger, President of Jay Peak.
Bill Stenger, the President of Jay Peak says he’s heard many Canadian customers complain the lines at the border are too long.
“That’s why we try to work so closely with our immigration officials to make the crossing as safe and as fluid as possible,” said Stenger.
And a change could be coming. This week U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the addition of two thousand new officers across the country. More officers could mean shorter lines which in turn means visitors would have more time to spend money in Vermont.
“Our businesses will be healthier. And it will just be a better experience all around,” said Stenger.
While it’s unclear just how many officers Vermont will see, Senator Leahy’s office says border crossings in Vermont will see an increase in the number of officers.
“With more law enforcement officers be it border patrol, customs, or any of the other entities available to us, we definitely welcome the help,” said Chief Seth DiSanto, of Newport City Police.
DiSanto says there are only two police agencies on duty 24-7 in Orleans and Essex Counties; Newport City Police and Border Patrol.
“So if we need backup at odd hours of the day if state police is tied up and the sheriff’s department isn’t available it just gives us additional resources for us to draw from,” said DiSanto.
As the number of people traveling to the U.S. steadily increases, Stenger says having more officers at the border is more important than ever.
“With the visitations increasing we obviously need to be prepared to welcome people in a proper way,” said Stenger.
Overall, 44 ports in 18 states will receive the addition staffing. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says those new officers will be in place by September of 2015.