Flight Attendant Union Warns of Long Security Lines As DHS Diverts Transportation Security To Southern Border

Serious Concerns over Shift of TSA Security Roles to Non-Security Work

Washington, D.C. – The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) released the following statement expressing serious concern over Department of Homeland Security contingency plans to divert $230 million from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to fund operations on U.S.-Mexico border:

“Moving $232 million from TSA’s already-stretched budget sets the stage for reduced check points and long security lines. This move is fundamentally about making the agency not work in order to build an argument for privatization. Reduced staffing at checkpoints isn’t just an inconvenience–when TSA is stretched thin, it increases the risk of a serious security breach. As the busy summer travel begins, it couldn’t be a worse time undermine important safety programs and endanger the safety, security and comfort of the traveling public.

“Flight Attendants often bear the brunt of frustrated travelers, making our workspace more volatile. Long lines also threaten air travel ticket sales and on-time operations. TSA’s mission statement is clear: ‘to protect the nation’s transportation systems to ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.’ AFA previously opposed any plans to divert people and resources from this mission.

“The proposed cuts will be felt this summer and in years to come. They will delay purchase of advanced screening equipment and other mission-critical investments designed to keep travelers safe and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of security, as well as undermine programs to support TSA workers and keep them on the job.”