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Tester brings U.S. Homeland Security official to Montana

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HAVRE, Mont. – Sen. Jon Tester wrapped up a two-day Montana tour with Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Aug. 26. During the visit, Tester and Mayorkas met with law enforcement and first responder officials as well as border security to discuss national and domestic security issues.

Tester, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and Mayorkas began a tour of Helena on Aug. 25 with listening sessions on law enforcement and emergency response.

Tester heard from U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials about drug trafficking, as well as the communications and technical difficulties local and state law enforcement agencies face when working with federal agencies.

On Aug. 26, they talked to professionals on the ground about border security, human trafficking and law enforcement issues.

Tester and Mayorkas flew along the Montana-Canadian border and visited the Ports of Piegan and Sweetgrass before hosting a roundtable on human trafficking in Havre.

“Everyone is always focused on the southern border, but what they might not know is that there are serious national security and law enforcement issues that need to be addressed along the northern border as well,” Tester said. “The information we gathered on this trip will help us get resources back to folks on the ground so they can keep our state and nation safe and secure.”

At the Ports of Piegan and Sweetgrass, Tester and Mayorkas witnessed the needs for increased staffing and equipment.

In Havre, Tester and Mayorkas heard from law enforcement officials about the challenges of fighting human trafficking. Mayorkas discussed DHS’s Blue Campaign, an agency effort to combat the illegal practice.

According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, Montana has positively identified 112 victims of human trafficking since 2007.

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