BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum met today with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to discuss a variety of topics related to border security, cross-border trade and travel, and overall coordination and collaboration between CBP and North Dakota.
“The role CBP personnel play in North Dakota contributing to border security and counter-narcotics efforts, protecting agricultural goods crossing the border, facilitating trade and travel, and collaborating with state law enforcement, is of tremendous value,” Burgum said. “We are grateful for their partnership, their expertise and their commitment to keeping our country, our state and our communities safe.”
One topic of discussion was potential implications for border security if Canada legalizes marijuana as a consumer product, as proposed in legislation introduced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in April.
Burgum and McAleenan also discussed the growing role of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in CBP operations, including the agency’s UAS operations at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is scheduled to review those operations with McAleenan on Friday and to tour potential sites, including Grand Sky Technology Park, for CBP’s new UAS operations and training facility. CBP also has job opportunities throughout North Dakota, including within its UAS program and CBP officer positions at ports of entry on the border.
North Dakota’s 310-mile northern border shares 18 international ports of entry with the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. They include the United States’ 18th busiest northern border crossing at Pembina, N.D., which processed 213,000 trucks, 290,000 vehicles and approximately 600,000 travelers last year. The port of entry at Portal, N.D., is the 35th busiest crossing on the northern border.