U.S. Customs and Border Protection is hiring thousands of new officers to staff the country's ports of entry in 18 states, including Arizona, according to a CBP press release.

The additional 2,000 officers will be working at 44 ports of entry into the U.S., including Arizona's ports in Nogales, Douglas and San Luis, "to further enhance security and improve service levels at ports of entry across the country, while facilitating trade and travel," the press release said.

The funding for the positions comes from evaluating the agency's resources, the news release explained.

The agency estimates that additional officers will reduce wait times at the ports of entry and bring 17 million more visitors to the country than the ports saw in 2012.

"Research has shown that for every 33 additional CBP officers the U.S. can potentially gain over 1,000 jobs," said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske in the release. "These measures are a significant down payment and a wise investment in our airports, seaports and land border crossings that will pay dividends for the nation's economy.

"We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and our stakeholders to implement additional investments that will allow us to support growing volumes of trade and travel that are vital to our economic prosperity," he added.

Arizona U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake each praised the announcement saying it will improve border security and economic development at the ports of entry.