Building A Border Fence – On the Canadian Border?

by Karl Gotthardt– Canadian Politics and Military Affairs Editor

According to a report by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, the United States is looking at building fences along stretches of he Canadian border in an apparent effort to keep out terrorists and other criminals.  The United States has been preoccupied with the Canadian border since 9/11, when the unfounded allegations were made that some of the 9/11 attackers had originated in Canada.  These allegations were unfounded since all 19 terrorists were in the U.S. legally and had arrived from the Middle East.  The LAX Bomber, a terrorist that was stopped at the border, is the only publicly known terrorist to try to enter from Canada.  Good intelligence stopped him in his tracks.

Children of a Common Mother

Illegal immigration is a major problem in the United States.  Estimates are that some 11 Million illegal aliens are in the United States and the issue is a hot potato for those on either side of the issue.   GOP presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry committed a major faux pas when he revealed that he favored subsidies for children of illegal alien for college tuition.  If the problem is on the Mexican border, why is it that Homeland Security is concerned about the security of the Canadian border and is even thinking about erecting a fence in certain sections of the 3500 mile border?  Both the U.S. and Canada used to pride themselves for sharing the longest undefended border in the world.

Canada and the U.S. are in the midst of a “Perimeter Defense Negotiation”  a treaty that would align rules of entry and other immigration rules for both countries.   The aim of the treaty is to cut down waiting times at the border, which would speed up the handling of goods moving across the border.  The U.S. is Canada’s biggest trading partner.  Canadians living near the border partake in cross-border shopping, which is a source of income for U.S. merchants south of the border.  Snowbirds spend much of their time primarily in Florida and Arizona to escape the harsh Canadian winters.

The issue of stopping terrorists and criminals is bogus.  Canada and the U.S. share intelligence and have tracked suspected terrorists in the past and co-operated in their capture.   Canada  has enacted a law similar to the Patriot act, which allows the incarceration of suspected terrorist with the issue of a “Security Certificate”.  Smuggling of guns and drugs is a major problem, but those are traveling north across the border.  Canada, of course does some drug smuggling to the U.S. as well, primarily in the form of cannabis from British Columbia on the West Coast.

To put it all into perspective, Canada, with its large land mass, has a population of 31 Million, about 10% of the U.S. population.  So who should be more worried about criminals crossing across their border.  In fact many criminals have crossed north of the border in order to avoid prosecution in the U.S.  Deportation of those criminals always ends up in the courts, on the taxpayers dime.

Nonetheless Homeland Security, some in Congress and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service continues to concentrate on the Canadian border, while leaving the border with Mexico wide open.  While southern border states are almost begging the Federal government to do something about protecting the border, the government is looking at the environmental effects of putting more manpower, technology and infrastructure along the Canadian border. The Feds have not ruled out the construction of fences.  Next month the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency will hold public meetings in Washington and several border communities.  Based on these meetings, the agency will decide which ideas to pursue.

Secretary of Homeland Security and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano last month noted  the challenges of monitoring the vast, sparsely populated northern border region. She stressed manpower, but also a greater reliance on technology.  This is ironic, since the same Napolitano has ignored the pleas of the state she used to govern, demonizing the current Governor, Jan Brewer, for her attempts to sort out the border and illegal alien problem.  The Obama Administration even took the Arizona Immigration Law to the UN as a human rights violation.  This is hypocracy at its best.

Since 9/11 the number of Border Patrol Agents has increased to 700% or 3800 agents along the border.  It appears the beefing up of the border the Obama Administration has been talking about, has all been on the northern border.

As negotiations on a “Perimeter Defence Treaty” are ongoing, it seems ironic that the U.S. Federal government would spend more money on the Canadian border, let alone mulling a border fence.   The thought is insulting to Canadians.

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About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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  1. Personally, I think therein lies the issue within the United States.  It has become a very divided country, first in ideology, then along racial lines.  While America toutts itself as a melting pot, its politicians go after the union vote, hispanic vote, etc.  You get my drift.  In my humble opinion no group of voters should be beholden to any party a an entity.  It defies the logic and meaning of United.  As a former peacekeeper, I can point to many examples in the world where this has led to disaster.   Ethnic hatred is still being manifested in the former Yugoslavia and it caused the Srbenica massacre. 

  2. We need to eventually open up all borders in the Americas, look at it as it is as one huge continent. Gov. Brewer is a blatant racist. The whole anti-immigrant issue as perceived by White folks is a rationale for continued White racism.

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