Napolitano to Discuss Northern Border Security in Montana

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is scheduled to travel to Great Falls, Sunburst and Havre next week to speak with Montana senators and law enforcement officials about efforts to secure the northern border.

Details of the trip have not been finalized, but a department news release says she will be in Montana on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Napolitano will join Democratic Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin in touring Customs and Border Protection operations.

The $8.5 million project to upgrade the Port of Whitetail border crossing in northeastern Montana will likely come up during the visit. Work on the project between Montana and Saskatchewan has been temporarily halted after Canada announced it would close its side of the crossing that sees just five travelers a day.

It’s one of five Montana border posts that the U.S. government is upgrading with more than $23 million in Recovery Act funding. Critics have called the project a waste of taxpayer money.