We report from time to time on a form of government waste on the northern border: keeping open little-used ports of entry.
The port with the least traffic this winter was near Hannah, N.D., a not-so-thriving town with a population of 15. Though the port is open eight hours a day and seven days a week, it recorded exactly two humans arriving a month in each of the first three months of the year, presumably shivering Canadians or chilly returning Americans. We estimated that it cost the government about $15,000 each to inspect those lonely travelers. And we promised our readers that we would check again on the U.S. Department of Transportation border crossing statistics once summer arrived.
Well, it has; the daylight lasts longer and the temperature is higher in Hannah, but the arrivals are still below one a day. In June, there were 14 cars — one every other day — carrying all of 19 passengers. No truck crossings were reported.
There were three other land ports of entry with fewer than 100 arrivals a month. They were, in ascending order: Whitlash, Mont., with 38 passengers and 20 cars; Boquillas, Texas (in Big Bend country), with an unknown number of people traveling in 56 cars; and Ambrose, N.D., with 84 people in 59 cars.
Meanwhile, there are long waiting lines at many of the ports at the southern border.
The author is grateful for the research help of Gabriel Millar, a CIS intern.