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CBP Announces Reduced Hours At Three Canada Border Ports

US - Canada border at the Opheim-West Poplar River border crossing as seen in 2010.
US - Canada border at the Opheim-West Poplar River border crossing as seen in 2010.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Thursday said it’s made its decision to reduce the hours at three ports of entry from Saskatchewan into Montana.

Starting June 1 the ports of Scobey, Morgan and Opheim will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. That’s a reduction from 13 hours a day to 10.

The port of Raymond will remain open 24 hours through this summer while CBP continues discussions with the Canadian government and local stakeholders, the agency says.

CBP announced in February that it wanted to reduce hours at the ports to save money, saying the number of vehicles using them didn’t justify their current hours. It says an average of 116 vehicles a day used the Port of Raymond last year.

Local and national elected officials complained at the time that reducing hours would cause hardships for farmers and local businesses.

On Tuesday Rep. Greg Gianforte and Sen. Steve Daines sent CBP a letter saying reducing hours would create a, "crisis at the northern border."

Thursday, Sen. Jon Tester issued a statement saying, "relentless effort," resulted in the port of Raymond remaining open 24 hours a day. Tester’s statement also calls on CBP to abandon plans to cut hours at Scobey, Morgan and Opheim.

The Obama administration considered cutting hours at the same ports, but didn’t follow through after getting pushback.

Customs and Border Patrol said today that it continues to consider feedback and will continue to monitor and analyze traffic and workload at those locations.

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