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Politics

Scott: Napolitano Finally Looking into Call for More Miami Customs Staffing

February 19, 2013 - 6:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott is welcoming Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Miami as she checks on what he contends are low levels of customs staffing at the airport, the governors office announced.

In late September, Scott wrote that insufficient staffing at the new state-of-the-art Customs and Border Patrol facility at Miami International Airport was understaffed, causing a bottleneck for passengers trying to exit customs.

And Scott expressed concerns that the problem would grow as the number of international passengers grows.

On Wednesday, Scott expressed being pleased Napolitano was now taking a closer look at the staffing.

We must ensure Florida is well-positioned to welcome new and returning visitors to the Sunshine State, Scott stated in the release.

If this staffing problem is not corrected immediately, it has the potential to damage Floridas international competitiveness, Scott added.

More than 1 million jobs in Florida depend on international trade and investment, which is one of the healthiest and fastest growing sectors of our economy.

"We look forward to hearing Secretary Napolitanos solutions to improve this important customer service issue because we want to ensure that those who visit Florida and who conduct business here are able to clear customs efficiently.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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