Hoeven Reviews Northern Border with Local Sheriffs

BOWBELLS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Committee, today reviewed operations along the northern border with Burke County Sheriff Shawn Brien, Divide County Sheriff Zachary Schroeder, Renville County Sheriff Roger Hutchinson, and other local law enforcement officials. The officials outlined the challenges of securing the northern border and preventing illegal border crossings and showed the senator the Short Creek Crossing, an area where the Burke County Sheriff’s office has purchased two game cameras to assist CBP in preventing illegal crossings.

“While the nation’s attention is focused on the southern border, we need to ensure the security of our northern border as well,” said Hoeven. “The Grand Forks Sector Border Patrol is responsible for securing nearly 900 miles of the northern border. We appreciate our local law enforcement stepping up to help fill existing needs, and we appreciate this opportunity to see firsthand the challenges our law enforcement faces in securing our northern border. At the same time, we’ll continue working to put in place the infrastructure, personnel and technology needed to secure both our northern and southern borders.”

Hoeven has been working to provide resources to help address staffing and security challenges at the southern and northern borders. That includes:  

  • Providing more than $1.3 billion in border infrastructure funding in Fiscal Year 2021. The senator has urged the Biden Administration to use these funds to secure the border as intended by Congress.
  • Securing $28 million in FY 2021 and $83 million in FY 2020 to deploy CBP remote surveillance technology and surveillance towers along the U.S. northern and southern borders.
  • Introducing the bipartisan CBP Hiring and Retention Innovation Act, legislation that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to improve the hiring and retention of CBP personnel.

Today’s visit to the northern border follows Hoeven’s review of the crisis on the southern border. At the end of March, Hoeven was part of a Senate delegation that traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to meet with Border Patrol agents, review CBP operations and processing facilities, visit border crossings and hear directly from local officials. There, Hoeven outlined the need to:

  • Secure the Border: The senator has been pressing the administration to resume construction of the border wall and put in place the infrastructure, personnel and technology needed to secure the border.
  • Reinstate key Trump administration policies, including:
    • The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) or Remain in Mexico Policy, which required people seeking asylum at the southern border to wait in Mexico while their case was adjudicated.
    • The Third Safe Country Agreements so those seeking asylum from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala can be returned to their home country to await the outcome of their claims.
    • Fully enforcing the CDC’s Public Health Order Pursuant to Title 42 so that individuals are returned home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Move to a Merit-Based Immigration System – Hoeven has advocated for moving away from the visa lottery system and toward a merit-based immigration system, which will make the country stronger and our economy more competitive.