Tester wraps up national security tour on the northern border

Senator brings Homeland Security Deputy Secretary to Montana to discuss border security, human trafficking

(Havre, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester today wrapped up a two-day Montana tour with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas where the two heard from folks on the ground about border security, human trafficking and law enforcement issues.

Tester and Mayorkas flew along the Montana-Canadian border and visited the Ports of Piegan and Sweetgrass before hosting a roundtable on human trafficking in Havre.

“Everyone is always focused on the southern border, but what they might not know is that there are serious national security and law enforcement issues that need to be addressed along the northern border as well,” said Tester, a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee. “The information we gathered on this trip will help us get resources back to folks on the ground so they can keep our state and nation safe and secure.”

At the Ports of Piegan and Sweetgrass, Tester and Mayorkas witnessed the needs for increased staffing and equipment.

Then in Havre, Tester and Mayorkas heard from law enforcement officials about the struggles of combatting human trafficking. Mayorkas discussed DHS’s Blue Campaign, an agency effort to combat human trafficking. According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Montana has positively identified 112 victims of human trafficking since 2007.

The following individuals participated in today’s human trafficking roundtable:

Walter Moran, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations
Michael Stewart, Customs and Border Protection Acting Chief Patrol Agent
Michele James, Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations
Travis Burrows, Federal Bureau of Investigations Supervisory Senior Resident Agent
Kris McLean, U.S. Attorney First Assistant
Bryan Lockerby, Montana Division of Criminal Investigation
Rep. Kim Dudik, Montana House of Representatives
Don Bostrom, Hill County Sheriff
Rick Kirn, Fort Peck Law and Justice Committee Chairman
Ted Whitford, Chippewa Cree Tribal Vice Chairman
Toni Plummer-Alvernaz, Montana Native Women’s Coalition Executive Director

Yesterday, Tester and Mayorkas held listening sessions on law enforcement and first responder issues in Helena.