Hoeven Helps Introduce Legislation to Restore Normal Hours of Operation at Northern Border Crossings

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today joined Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) in introducing bipartisan, bicameral legislation requiring U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) hours of operations at northern border ports of entry to match or exceed pre-pandemic hours. The members of Congress are sponsoring the bill in response to CBP’s recent announcement that it will reduce hours at certain northern ports of entry and maintain adjusted hours at others. Further, the legislation comes as part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to bring attention to concerns along the northern border and provide more infrastructure, personnel and technology to North Dakota to help support Border Patrol agents. To this end, the senator repeatedly called for CBP officials to resume normal operating hours at the northern border’s ports of entry, including through:

  • Multiple calls with Pete Flores, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Field Operations.
    • Hoeven also joined Risch in sending a letter to EAC Flores last month urging CBP to extend hours at ports of entry to at least match the hours at adjacent Canadian Border Services Agency ports.
  • A meeting with officials from the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP), including Grand Forks Sector Chief Anthony Good, and representatives of the National Border Patrol Council, the union which represents USBP agents, to discuss:
    • The increase in encounters along the northern border.
    • The need for additional resources to ensure the northern border is secure against drug and human trafficking. 
    • His role a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to secure provisions in annual funding legislation to address staffing shortages and equipment needs along the northern border.

“Our northern border communities, including in North Dakota, rely on legal trade and travel with Canada,” said Hoeven. “That’s why we’ve been pressing CBP to resume pre-pandemic hours of operation at northern border crossings. Doing so would enable goods and people to move more efficiently, helping to address supply chain issues while supporting our ag, energy and tourism industries, among other priorities.”

“CBP’s failure to operate America’s northern ports at pre-pandemic hours is detrimental to North Idaho’s economy and way of life,” said Risch. “My legislation would return northern ports to at minimum pre-pandemic hours and allow Idahoans to once again access vital commerce, tourism, trade, travel, and more.”

“It’s important to many North Dakotans and our state’s economy that ports of entry with Canada are accessible. CBP recently announced that it will not maintain extended hours at the Maida and Northgate ports of entry. This decision will make it harder to conduct business, particularly for farmers during the summer. Our bill will require CBP to extend operating hours at these northern border crossings and expand trade and cooperation with one of our closest allies,” said Armstrong.

The legislation is also cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).