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U.S. - Canadian Border Security
Tue February 1, 2011
New report raises questions about security along Michigan's northern border
U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman today released a report from the General Accounting Office showing less than 1% of the nation's northern border is secure. The Canadian Press reports only about 32 miles of the 4,000 mile border is secure.
The northern border is "vulnerable for exploitation" by those hoping to sneak Canadian-grown marijuana and ecstasy tablets into the United States, warned the report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office, the watchdog arm of Congress.
U.S. border patrol officials control only about 50 kilometres of the 6,400-kilometre boundary, it found — even as the Department of Homeland Security "reports networks of illicit criminal activity and smuggling of drugs, currency, people, and weapons between the two countries."
And the terrorist threat on the northern border is higher than on the U.S.-Mexico boundary because of "the large expanse of area with limited law enforcement coverage."
The report's release came as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office announced he would travel to the U.S. capital on Friday to meet with President Barack Obama. Among other items on the agenda, the two leaders are expected to discuss a perimeter security pact.
The agreement, in the works for years, would control who enters and leaves North America in a consistent manner, allowing officials to ease security at the Canada-U.S. border.