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Tester Calls On Congress To Provide Critical Funding For Northern Border Security, Fentanyl Scanning Tech

As part of his continued efforts to secure our borders and crack down on the deadly flow of fentanyl impacting Montana communities, U.S. Senator Jon Tester took multiple new actions this week calling on Congress to boost critical funding to secure the northern border, and to install fentanyl scanning technology in order secure the northern and southern borders and keep Montana safe.

In a new bipartisan letter to the leaders of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Tester and his colleagues called on Congress to provide U.S. Border Patrol and law enforcement with the resources they need to specifically secure the northern border: “Recruitment and retention of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and USBP agents continues to prove challenging, particularly when attempting to fill posts along the northern border. We therefore urge the subcommittee to include the necessary resources to recruit and retain personnel, including resources for creative solutions to incentivize officers and agents to fill posts on the northern border.”

Tester also led two additional letters emphasizing the importance of providing funding for scanning technology at both the northern and southern border to crack down on the deadly flow of fentanyl hurting Montana communities.

“By providing CBP with additional fentanyl-detection and analysis resources and technology, we can increase its ability to intercept fentanyl and other synthetic opioids at the border, rapidly interpret screening test results from the field, and perform more robust testing” wrote Tester and his colleagues in their bipartisan letter. “Combined, these resources will help safeguard field personnel from exposure to these deadly drugs, prevent fentanyl from entering the country, and ultimately save lives. We must provide CBP with the funding it needs to stop illicit fentanyl from getting into the country.”

In a second letter, Tester joined his colleagues in specifically calling for funding of Non-Intrusive Inspection systems to detect illicit substances like fentanyl and prevent their movement across our borders: “We write to request substantial funding for the acquisition and implementation of Non-Intrusive Inspection systems. The technology and equipment supported through this program are force multipliers that enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection to detect illicit substances and prevent their movement across our borders, and for that reason, this funding is critical to finding and seizing fentanyl crossing the southern U.S. border.”

Tester has led the charge to secure the southern border and stop the deadly flow of fentanyl that is wreaking havoc on Montana. He has repeatedly expressed to Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden that the Administration must do more and “use all of the remaining tools at your disposal” to secure our borders.

Tester voted to secure the southern border in February — but politicians in Congress blocked the bipartisan border security legislation.

In April, Tester’s FEND Off Fentanyl Act was signed into law. This bipartisan law imposes economic sanctions on those engaged in the international trafficking of illicit fentanyl, precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl, or other related opioids, gives law enforcement more resources to combat fentanyl trafficking, and declares international trafficking of fentanyl as a national emergency.

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