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Calls for Porthill Port of Entry to return to its normal 7am to 11pm schedule

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), with a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers, today sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) demanding the agency expand the hours of operations at ports of entry in Idaho and other northern states or, at minimum, match the operating hours with their adjacent Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) ports.

Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and U.S. Congressmen Russ Fulcher (R-Idaho), Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.), and Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.), also signed the letter.

“These ports of entry serve a vital role in connecting our states’ economies with Canada, and our constituents heavily rely on them for commerce, tourism, religious activities, trade, travel, health care, tribal connections, and more,” wrote the elected officials. “The mismatched and uncoordinated hours are causing confusion and frustration across the northern border.”

“We believe when the border hours are extended to at a minimum, match adjacent CBSA ports, vehicular and pedestrian traffic will increase to match, if not exceed, pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, we stand ready to support your efforts to provide additional resources to CBP officers who currently are working hard to secure the northern border, to improve CBP recruitment, retention, and staffing levels, and to boost security along the northern and southern border to prevent illegal immigration,” continued the leaders.

The full letter is available here.

Risch, Crapo, and Fulcher have repeatedly urged CBP to extend hours for the Porthill Port of Entry in northern Idaho. According to Risch, “Porthill serves a vital role connecting North Idaho’s economy with Canada. It also is an increasingly important link allowing tourism in the Gem State.” The Idaho leaders were successful in advocating for CBP to temporarily extend hours for the port, but they are urging a full return to pre-pandemic hours.

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