(Eric Gay/AP) (Eric Gay/AP)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has submitted a plan to Congress that would eliminate sequester furloughs for the agency despite the $600 million in cuts it will have to make under the automatic spending reductions.

The cuts would still include a hiring freeze for non-frontline personnel, a hold on monetary awards and limited overtime reductions, according to an internal memo Friday from CBP deputy commissioner Thomas S. Winkowski.

“While these reductions are not without significance and will continue to impact our mission, they are preferable to the personal hardships and operational impact of incurring furloughs at this point in the fiscal year,” Winkowski said.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents many CBP personnel, applauded the plan and urged Congress to end the sequester, which took effect in March.

“This is a positive development for CBP employees and one that NTEU worked with CBP to attain,” said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the union. “The work of frontline CBP employees is critically important to the security of our country and to our economic growth.”

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