After Tester Push, Port of Raymond to Remain Open 24 Hours
Decision comes one week after Tester’s face-to-face meeting with Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner
(Big Sandy, Mont.) – After a face-to-face meeting with the Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan last week, U.S. Senator Jon Tester was able to help restore around-the-clock service at the Port of Raymond in northeast Montana.
Tester specifically pressed McAleenan to abandon the Trump Administration’s proposal to reduce service hours at four of Montana’s 16 ports of entry-including the Port of Raymond, and show greater transparency when making decisions that impact Montana’s number one industry.
“The proposal to reduce port hours along Montana’s northern border harms our agriculture economy, and it’s a positive development that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reversing course on the Port of Raymond for now,” Tester said. “But this Administration has got to show greater transparency on decisions of this magnitude. Next time they take aim at Montana’s economy, they better show up and listen to folks on the ground first.”
Following the announcement from Customs and Border Protection, Tester called on the agency to abandon its plan to cut hours of operation at the Ports of Scobey, Morgan, and Opheim. Tester said he would continue to hold Customs and Border Protection accountable and fight to retain the 24-hour schedule.
Tester has repeatedly beat back proposals by Customs and Border Protection to cut hours of operation at Montana’s Ports of Entry. In 2016, after more than a year of advocacy, Tester successfully convinced CBP to scrap its plan to cut the hours of operation at the Port of Raymond.
The Port of Raymond is one of only three 24-hour ports of entry in Montana.
Before their face-to-face meeting last week, Tester sent a letter to McAleenan, calling his decisions to reduce hours at Montana’s points of entry as “harmful” that shows a “deep misunderstanding” of rural America.