We've talked a lot about the southern border on our statewide radio talk show- Montana Talks. But what about the northern border?

Last week as I traveled thru Plentywood and Scobey, one big topic of discussion was the proposed closures of the ports between Northeastern Montana and Canada. The reduction in hours on our northern border port facilities is of particular concern to Montana farmers.

Here's my question: we can't shut down the southern border for illegal aliens, but apparently we have no problem shutting down the northern border for farmers?

Listen to the audio below, plus- the full press release from US Customs and Border Protection on the proposed port closures. (Thanks to Burl Bowler with the Daniel County Leader for sharing)

 

FULL CBP Press Release

CBP to Host Town Hall Meetings to Discuss Adjusted Hours of Operation at Four Montana Ports of Entry Change will affect Ports of Raymond, Opheim, Scobey and Morgan

SWEETGRASS, Mont. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be adjusting the hours of operation at the Ports of Raymond, Opheim, Scobey, and Morgan beginning April 14, 2019. CBP identified these ports for modification of operational hours to realign resources to historical and existing traffic volumes and workload. This adjustment will allow CBP to properly align staffing with workload, maintain the CBP inspectional and enforcement missions and redirect valuable resources to ports with greater commercial and passenger volumes.

“Very low traffic volumes during these proposed reduced hours along with fiscal responsibility with taxpayer money are a determining factor for the adjustment of hours at CBP ports of entry,” said Area Port Director Daniel Escobedo.

The current hours of operation for the Port of Raymond are 24 hours a day, which coincides with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Regway, Minton, Saskatchewan. Effective April 14, 2019, the new hours of operation at Raymond will be 6 a.m. to midnight. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between midnight and 6 a.m. may cross at Portal, North Dakota, a 24-hour port of entry (108 miles east of Raymond). People crossing into Canada during these hours will not be affected.

The current hours of operation for the Port of Opheim are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 14. These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of West Poplar River, Rockglen, Saskatchewan. Effective April 14, 2019, the new hours of operation at Opheim will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., year-round. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight may cross at Raymond, Montana, (95 miles east of Opheim) via MT -5 and MT – 248.

The current hours of operation for the Port of Scobey are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 1 to Sept. 14. These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Coronach, Saskatchewan. Effective April 14, 2019, the new hours of operation at Scobey will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., year-round. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between the hours of 6 p.m. and midnight may cross at Raymond, Montana 53 miles east of Scobey via MT -5 and MT – 16.

The current hours of operation for the Port of Morgan are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 15 to May 31 and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., June 1 to Sept. 14. These hours coincide with the hours of operation at the adjacent Canadian Port of Monchy, Val Marie, Saskatchewan. Effective April 14, 2019, the new hours of operation at Morgan will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., year-round. Travelers wishing to cross into the United States between the hours 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. (June 1 –Sept. 14) may cross at Turner, Montana, 130 miles west of Morgan via US-2 (US) and 63 miles via HWY-18 and HWY-37 (Canada).

CBP plans to work with community stakeholders locally to hold informational town hall meetings to discuss the adjustment to the hours of operation at the Raymond, Opheim, Scobey and Morgan ports of entry.

These town hall meetings will be advertised as soon as dates and times are established.

Anyone wishing to comment on the adjustment of hours can do so via email at:  OFOFEEDBACKMT@cbp.dhs.gov