The 4,000-mile-long U.S. / Canadian border has been described as the longest undefended border in the world.
Relations with the government of Canada remain cordial. Canadian citizens can cross into the U.S. at will, traveling and vacationing without an official visa. Even living and working in the U.S. poses little problem for the Canadian citizen; visa requirements are very lenient for our “harmless” brothers and sisters to the north.
Soon, any American citizen wishing to fly to or from Canada and the United States will be required to present a passport.
The Canadian border is guarded on its northern side by the Canadian Mounties.
Anyone familiar with Canadian immigration policy will tell you that Canada is an immigrant haven and one especially desirable for those seeking some form of asylum. Permanent resident status in Canada is easy to obtain even for individuals from countries strongly suspected of supporting organized terrorism. For instance, former Montreal, Canada resident Ahmed Ressam was an Algerian-born Al-Qaeda operative who was arrested by U.S. Immigration Inspectors in 1999 while he attempting to bring a carload of explosives into the United States. His intended target was the Los Angeles International Airport. Ressam was only caught because he attempted to smuggle his explosives through a port-of-entry. Had he been thinking, he would have slipped across the border just a few miles to either side of the port-of-entry and exploited the biggest weakness in all of U.S. homeland security.
Before September 11th, 2001, the U.S. government had a only 350 Border Patrol agents along the entire Canadian border. After September 11th, Washington awoke to Canada’s liberal immigration policy and that its lack of border enforcement was a recipe for disaster. The policy-makers at the Department of Homeland Security tripled the number of Border Patrol agents assigned to protect our northern flank. We now have in approximately 1,000 agents along our 4,000 mile northern frontier.
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