DHS Strengthens Northern Borders Amid Tensions Between US and Canada

DHS Strengthens Northern Borders Amid Tensions Between US and Canada
DHS Strengthens Northern Borders Amid Tensions Between US and Canada

The Department of Homeland Security announced a plan this week to strengthen security at the Canadian border in an attempt to keep passings “safe, secure, and efficient.” DHS claims the renewed focus will prevent illegal passages both from and to the United States and encourage legal trade.

Key Facts

• DHS’s strategy, laid out in this document, claims it will enhance communication between both sides of the border while improving intelligence and integrated operations. The main goal is to “deter adversaries from exploiting the Northern Border to harm the United States.”
• The Trump administration and DHS both refute the claim that the increased security measures are a reaction to high tensions between Canada and the United States. In fact, DHS went as far as to say that “two friendly nations with a long history of social, cultural and economic ties.”
• President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau have both levied heavy tariffs on critical industries over previous months. Most of the tariffs have been on steel, lumber, and the automobile industry. Some meet or exceed 25 percent.
• DHS’s announcement comes just days after a Canadian woman was stopped at the border after attempting to come into the country to work at a local crafter’s festival. Heather Breadner, who sells hand-dyed wool, came into the country without legal permission to work.
• Despite Canada’s stereotypical appearance as a nation of polite, well-mannered people, US-Canadian border issues have existed for years. In provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, drug smuggling and undeclared imports/exports have caused problems for border officials.
• At least one arrest involved “Pot King” Mark Emery, who was arrested and jailed in the United States for smuggling in marijuana seeds several years ago. There is current evidence to show that some clandestine Fentanyl may be coming into the US from Canada, too.