By Devin Weeks | Bonners Ferry Herald
As one of several lawmakers who just introduced legislation to stop the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch is firm in his stance on immigration and enforcement at the southern border.
“Our view ought to be, ‘Close the back door tight and open the front door carefully, and let’s let in here who we want in here,’" the Republican from Idaho said Friday during a stop at The Coeur d’Alene Press office in downtown Coeur d'Alene.
On the northern border, Risch said he, Sen. Mike Crapo and Rep. Russ Fulcher are putting on pressure to keep open the Porthill-Rykerts Border Crossing, which connects Bonners Ferry to Creston, British Columbia, Canada. They celebrated when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection decided to extend Porthill's hours after the lawmakers wrote to Executive Assistant Commissioner Pete Flores encouraging CBP to extend hours at Porthill as a part of the pilot program that would evaluate traffic flow.
“Porthill serves a vital role connecting North Idaho’s economy with Canada," Risch said in a March 28 news release. "It also is an increasingly important link allowing tourism in the Gem State. I’m proud Sen. Crapo, Rep. Fulcher and I were able to convince the Biden administration to extend the port’s hours. I will continue advocating for our port to return to the normal, pre-pandemic hours of 7 a.m. until 11 p.m."
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