President Obama visits the Empire State

Barack Obama, Jeff Idelson, Andre Dawson

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB)- The President is calling for a combination of more manpower and advanced technology at airports and border crossings, to cut down on wait times for international visitors.

President Obama told the crowd in Cooperstown Thursday afternoon, getting visitors into the United States faster and with less hassle leaves more time for them to patronize tourist sites, hotels and restaurants.

And that, he said, benefits the American economy.

To accomplish this, Obama wants to expand the use of automated passport kiosks to 25 international airports by the end of this year, and add more than 2,000 new Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry.

The President said, “I want to turn the 70 million tourists that came last year into 100 million each year by the beginning of the next decade. And meeting that goal is going to help create jobs here in New York.”

The passport kiosks have already been introduced at Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago O’Hare airports where the President says average wait times for Customs screening has fallen to about 15 minutes.
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