- The Washington Times - Friday, June 6, 2014

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs joined Sen. Heidi Heitkamp on a helicopter tour of the border between North Dakota and Canada Friday and met law enforcement agents to discuss security issues surrounding the oft-overlooked northern U.S. border.

Sen. Tom Carper, Delaware Democrat, thanked Ms. Heitkamp, North Dakota Democrat and a member of the committee, for the invitation and pledged to keep the concerns he heard in mind as the committee works to “better protect and serve border communities here in North Dakota and throughout the nation.”

“As I learned during today’s aerial trip of North Dakota’s northern border and the roundtable with local law enforcement, communities here in North Dakota have their own set of challenges as a result of their location and the state’s recent economic prosperity, including the growing threat of human trafficking,” Mr. Carper said.

The state has 17 border crossings, and Ms. Heitkamp’s office said the state’s energy boom is leading to increased challenges with issues such as human trafficking, illegal trade, illegal immigration and national security threats.

“We do have very serious issues with our southern border, but I’m constantly reminding folks that we must also focus on the very real challenges we have in North Dakota and all across our northern border,” Ms. Heitkamp said.

Her office said she visited the U.S.-Mexico border in April.

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