Sen. Bill Nelson said Tuesday that he is continuing to ask for additional federal agents for Miami International Airport, which for months has had a shortage of officers at its new, $180 million immigration and customs facility.
Nelson, a Florida Democrat, told members of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce who were visiting Washington that 65 new customs agents have been added at MIA in the past year, and 93 over the past two years, according to a news release issued by his office.
But the chamber representatives said the airport still needs more federal personnel to keep up with the expanded facility and increase in cargo and international passengers.
"The first thing people see when they get off a plane is a long line to go through customs," Nelson said in the statement. "That's no way to foster tourism."
Republican Gov. Rick Scott made a similar request for additional customs agents to the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, in September. Nelson's office said he also called Napolitano about the matter in April.