Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Jon Tester presses DHS head about Montana’s ports of entry hours

Montana Senator Jon Tester at a committee hearing on missing and murdered indigenous women, Dec. 12, 2018.
Courtesy Sen. Tester's office.

Montana Sen. Jon Tester this week pressed the Department of Homeland Security secretary about returning Montana’s ports of entry to pre-pandemic hours.

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Tester during an appropriations hearing for the agency on Wednesday that hours of operations remain reduced for several ports between Sweet Grass, north of Shelby, and Raymond, north of Plentywood in northeast Montana, because of the low number of daily crossings.

Tester told Mayorkas the crossing numbers are low because the hours are reduced.

“That’s the point,” Tester said. "The point is you can’t go by the traffic when in fact people aren’t going to go there because of the hours.”

Raymond is open 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Tester said it needs to again be a 24-hour port because of its access to the U.S.'s No. 1 trading partner, Canada.

Mayorkas said an evaluation of the traffic numbers is underway and he would speak to Customs and Border Protection about the crossings and get back to Tester.

Kay Erickson has been working in broadcasting in Billings for more than 20 years. She spent well over a decade as news assignment editor at KTVQ-TV before joining the staff at YPR. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a degree in broadcast journalism. Shortly after graduation she worked in Great Falls where she was one of the first female sports anchor and reporter in Montana.