U.S. Customs and Border Protections has set a new round of town halls meetings for feedback concerning its plan to cut the hours of operation at four ports of entry between Montana and Saskatchewan in the northeast corner of the state.
CBP’s second round of listening sessions begin Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, of this week and Monday and Tuesday, May 6 and 7, of next week.
The news release from CBP says the agency wants additional feedback from “the community, stakeholders and government representatives on the adjustment of hours of operation at the Raymond, Opheim, Scobey and Morgan ports of entry in Montana.” The changes are to begin June 1.
Montana’s Washington D.C. congressional delegation oppose any cuts in port hours of operation.
Democratic Senator Jon Tester, speaking in a conference call to Montana media Tuesday morning, said CBP does not understand the impact of this on Montana.
“Reducing hours at these ports is going to force farmers and ranchers and truckers, folks in all walks of life to drive many more hours to sell or buy goods in the United States and or in Canada,” said Tester. “So, Montana producers depend on these Canadian buyers and sellers for major components in their operation. Canada remains our state’s largest trading partner and these ports remain play a critical role in commerce between us and our neighbor to the north.”
Earlier in April CBP reduced the hours of operation at Raymond but reinstated 24 hours of operation a week later.
CBP will host four town hall meetings this and next week:
- Opheim: Friday, May 3, 2019, at 5:00pm at the Glasgow Senior Citizen Center
- Morgan: Saturday, May 4, 2019, at 2:00pm in Malta at the Great Northern Hotel
- Scobey: Monday, May 6, 2019, at 5:00pm in Scobey at the Richardson Theater
- Raymond: Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at 5:00pm in Plentywood at the Sheridan County Civic Center
Questions and comments for CBP can be sent to OFOFEEDBACKMT@cbp.dhs.gov.