CRANE LAKE, Minn. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations kicked off a remote reporting pilot project expansion Thursday at three resorts located at Crane Lake.
This pilot addresses a pressing issue for a community that depends heavily on tourism. Anglers and outdoorsmen from around the country travel to Crane Lake with their families to enjoy fishing experiences. Oftentimes fishing guides and their guests travel into Ontario, Canada, which prompts border security checks by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon return. The current system of utilizing the CBP officer located on Crane Lake does not provide 24-hour coverage to report an arrival.
The new pilot program, which was soft launched Aug. 12, 2017 at select resorts within the Northwest Angle, Minnesota, was designed to change all of that. Now visitors can simply use tablets, loaded with a reporting app, at participating Crane Lake resorts to report their arrival and video conference with CBP officers located at the International Falls, Minnesota, Port of Entry.
“From an officer standpoint this is much needed technology,” said International Falls Port Director Tony Jackson. “Having that clarity in the video conference coupled with the traveler’s information from the app is strengthening border security in these remote areas while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.”
Additionally, travelers to the Crane Lake area can report in via any device that is capable of 4G/LTE or Wi-Fi. Frequent cross-border travelers are able to construct a profile within the app so the information required by CBP is readily available to submit for their video conference when they cross.
The pilot technology at Crane Lake is currently available at three resorts, a number that will expand as modifications to the app are worked out. Crane Lake Resorts now offering the technology are Handberg Marine & Marina, Scott’s Resort Seaplane Base, and Voyagaire Lodge & Houseboats.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.