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The bulk of the increase has taken place since the formation of Homeland Security in 2003 after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Border Patrol manpower has more than doubled to 20,000 over the past decade.

Representatives from the National Border Patrol Council, Local 2366, in Del Rio, Texas, met earlier this year with Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn of Texas to express their concern about the possible conversion from the AUO system to what the local described as a “corrupted version” of LEAP.

“The proposal is not a misguided effort on the part of CBP to be fiscally responsible. Instead, it will be used for a variety of other measures which CBP feels are more important than Border Patrol agent compensation,” the local said in a posting on its website.