Congressmembers Brian Higgins and Elise Stefanik are urging Customs and Border Protection to address staffing shortages at the northern border.

They say the lack of staff is deterring travel across the border, which is very important to local economies.

Legislators say the shortage is causing excessive delays, especially during morning commutes. They're pointing to Buffalo's Peace Bridge and Champlain's border crossing as examples.

In a letter to the CBP commissioner, they write, "Inspection booths at Northern Border Ports of Entry are woefully understaffed. At the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York, the second-busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing, we have received reports of only two out of 12 regular inspection lanes being open. The lack of staff and open lanes has led to hour-plus delays during morning commute hours. At the border crossing between Champlain, New York and St. Bernard de Lacolle, Quebec, wait times have tripled on average, and some days, waits can be over two hours long. Traffic has only reached 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels yet our booths are still understaffed. Long waits dissuade travelers from crossing the border, stifle economic activity, and cause undue harm to our border communities.

Higgins and Stefanik say this isn't just an issue in New York. They say there's a shortage of at least 1,800 CBP officers across the country.