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US budget cuts will result in longer lines at JFK airport

Thursday, March 07, 2013 | 4:58 PM    

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NEW YORK, United States (CMC) – Secretary of the United States’ Homeland Security Department, Janet Napolitano, has warned passengers at John F Kennedy International Airport to schedule extra hours for travel as the department faces a five percent cut in the US federal budget battle.

Napolitano told reporters that while passengers at New York’s airports are yet to feel the impact of spending cuts that went into effect on Friday, security lines at airports in other cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago, were already twice as long. 

Napolitano said her department’s partnership with the New York Police Department would be more crucial than ever. 

“We are just beginning to see impacts of the sequestration that came into effect last Friday,” she said. “The Coast Guard has to curtail maritime operations in the waters off the coast of New York by 24 per cent. 

“The wait time at the JFK International Airport will increase by up to 50 per cent, and peak daily wait times could exceed four hours,” she warned. 

“We do not want this,” she added. “We will work hard to fulfill our security missions to the best of our ability.”

Last week, the US released a significant number of Caribbean and other immigrants in detention centers around the country because of the looming budget cuts.

Review of internal US government budget documents revealed that the Homeland Security Department, which oversees the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released more than 2,000 illegal Caribbean and other immigrants facing deportation from immigration detention centers because of budget cuts.

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