Hoeven: Senate Confirms CBP Commissioner McAleenan

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the following statement after Kevin McAleenan was confirmed as Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Hoeven has been working to secure his confirmation, including sending a letter to Senate leadership pressing for a vote on the nomination. McAleenan, who has served as acting CBP commissioner since January 2017, was confirmed with strong bipartisan support.   

“Commissioner McAleenan is extremely qualified to lead Customs and Border Protection, the agency responsible for counterterrorism, border security and trade enforcement. As a border state and with CBP operations out of Grand Forks, this position is extremely important to North Dakota,” said Hoeven. “As acting commissioner, McAleenan joined me in North Dakota last year to see firsthand CBP’s operations in Grand Forks and to secure a facility for the UAS mission. We’ve highlighted North Dakota’s leadership in developing and testing unmanned aerial systems and he’s committed to work with us to make Grand Forks a hub for northern border security.” 

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured $8 million in Fiscal Year 2017 funding to ensure that CBP’s UAS operations and training facility would remain in Grand Forks. The CBP leased recently renovated space on the air base last year.

Hoeven secured a commitment from McAleenan to visit North Dakota again to see the work of the state’s UAS industry in depth. That includes the CBP and UND’s Pathways Program, which provides federal career opportunities for UND students learning to fly both manned and unmanned aircraft. In December, 15 UND students were selected to train as CBP Air Interdiction Agents under the university’s Pathways Program.