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This article was published 16/5/2019 (382 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Travelling from Westman to the United States may now take longer than usual.
U.S. Customs and Border protection is temporarily transferring hundreds of border agents to the south, which could cause backups for people seeking to enter the United States from Canada.
"While the current southwest border security and humanitarian crisis is impacting CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) operations, we are working to mitigate the effects as much as possible," an emailed statement to The Sun from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
They’ve temporarily re-assigned 731 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from ports around the nation, the statement said. They are being moved to border patrol sectors that have been overwhelmed by the apprehension of families and unaccompanied children from Central America.
They would not provide more information as to where the agents were removed from, and if any had been reassigned from the Dunseith port of entry close to Boissevain.
However, the officers are being moved from land, sea and airports to lessen the impact on any one particular port, the statement said.
Three hours southwest of Brandon in Minot, N.D., Capt. Jason Sundbakken of the Minot Police Department said a lack of border patrol agents would impact them to an extent, but added it’s hard to say how it will affect them without knowing exact numbers.
"There are times that we come across individuals who quite possibly could be in the country illegally or overstayed their visa, things of that nature, and in those circumstances we do rely on the border patrol agents to come down and speak to them and conduct an investigation," Sundbakken said.
When situations like that arise, which does happen from time to time, he said, it’s important for them to have that resource available.
The border patrol has also assisted the Minot police in the past in other ways. When they needed a translator and didn’t have one immediately available to them, they provided that resource.
David Lakefield, the City of Minot’s finance director and acting city manager, said that so far they haven’t seen any impact on the city, and he’s not sure that they will.
"Obviously we’re located close to the northern border, but I don’t have any information as to the number of agents that are being transferred directly from these ports that are near to us," Lakefield said. "And I haven’t seen or heard of any issues that we’ve had."
For up-to-date information on wait times at border crossings, people can check the U.S. Customs and Border protection website.
» email@example.com, with files from The Canadian Press
» Twitter: @Melverge5