The real stunner in the border security report -

The real stunner in the border security report

The U.S. has “an acceptable level of control” of only 32 of 4,000 miles of Canadian border


Here is the very interesting report on border security out of the U.S. Government Accountability Office in Washington. It says that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has “an acceptable level of control” over only 32 of 4,000 miles of border with Canada. Wow!

To be fair, the report says that there are bigger problems on the US border with Mexico – a border which “continues to experience significantly higher levels of drug trafficking and illegal immigration than the U.S.-Canadian border.” But you have to go to Footnote 1 to see what an understatement this is:

“DHS data show that in fiscal year 2009, apprehensions of inadmissible aliens along the northern border were approximately 1.3 percent of apprehensions along the southwest border, and pounds of illegal narcotics seized along the northern border were about 1.6 percent of pounds seized along the southwest border.”

Of course, the big concern on the northern border is terrorism. That is why Canada and the US border and law enforcement agencies share intelligence and partner in a variety of ways to keep the border secure.

But here is where the stunner comes: “DHS reported limited progress in securing the northern border, but processes Border Patrol used to assess border security and resource requirements did not include the extent that northern border partnerships and resources were available or used to address border security vulnerabilities. DHS action to develop guidance and policy for including partner contributions in these processes could provide the agency and Congress with more complete information in making funding and resource allocation decisions.”

In other words, DHS bean-counters were not counting Canadian beans when they concluded that there were too few beans at the border.

But they are working on it: Footnote 54 says, “According to CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Patrol] officials, they are working to update their definitions of border security for the northern border as they explore a more accurate means to depict northern border security.  Additionally, RCMP officials stated that RCMP and CBP are collaborating on developing a joint border security assessment.”

After all, partnerships with Canada are part of their strategy:

“DHS has established partnerships with other federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian law enforcement agencies to secure the northern border, and taken action to improve coordination among its components and across its partners. To facilitate partnerships and coordination, DHS has established various mechanisms—such as interagency forums and agreements—to improve information sharing necessary to achieve a common understanding of the border security threats and to leverage resources for achieving an integrated law enforcement response. However, it is unclear the extent to which these efforts are addressing border security gaps, and in November 2008 we reported that DHS had not linked its initiatives to the border vulnerabilities it had identified or informed Congress about additional resources needed to secure the northern border.”

Why doesn’t DHA already include Canadian role in border security when measuring the security of the shared border? Because it’s not required – and because it doesn’t help in writing funding requests:

“One reason why partner contributions are not identified and assessed is because Border Patrol guidance does not require partner resources to be incorporated into Border Patrol security assessments, or in documents that inform the resource planning process.”

Also, who knows, there is always the possibility that Canadians could just not show up for work one day:

“Another reason cited by officials for excluding partner resources is that these partners are not under the control of Border Patrol, and therefore cannot be relied upon to sustain the border security mission.”

Nonetheless, the reports conclusions — based on DHS’s partial data — succeeded in raising alarms ahead of the Harper-Obama meeting in Washington on Friday.

Senator Lieberman, who requested the report from GAO, said yesterday: “These findings, as I’ve said, should sound an alarm, an urgent call for action, to the Department of Homeland Security, to the Canadian government, to the state and local governments along the border, and of course to Congress, including our Committee on Homeland Security.”

Asked whether Canadians should have to have visas to enter the U.S., Lieberman said:

“I think it’s something that we should be talking about with our — with our Canadian neighbors. It’s an interesting question. Look, the other thing at work here is that the Canadians do have more lenient asylum and laws — immigration laws than we do here, and that potentially has an effect on us because of our border with them. On the — but again, there’s great cooperation between the two countries, and there’s nothing critical here about that.”

How about getting some better data first?

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The real stunner in the border security report

  1. And a ping to make it show up now. LOL

  2. BC/US border looks very different from the US/Mexico – How many thousands of gun shops are there along the Canada/US borders? Calderon told Congress there are 7 000 gun shops on the US side of the border with his country. Considering the length of it, would there be 25,000 or 50,000 gun shops along the CA/US border? If our border is anyting like the one the US shares with Mexico, then we need to vastly increase border patrol. I gather there more worried about our citizens religion and skin colour.

    • Harper should tell Obama that, given the number of guns Americans pack, and the comparative unemployment rates, that we Canadians view America much as they view Mexico, and we have much more to fear from them than they do from us. THAT little truth would be sure to raise some hackles south of the border… and would put a big grin on my face listening to the prattle that would follow on Fox!

      Lieberman would blow an aorta…

    • Are you even AWAKE when you write this dribble? There is NOT 7000 gun shops along the border – this is the total figure for gun shops INSIDE the U.S.!

      • There are approximately 50,000 licensed gun dealers in the US. Of which, more than 2000 in California, more than 1000 in Arizona, and more than 3000 in Texas.

        Source: 2002 Economic Census, Geographic Area Series, Retail Trade, U.S. Census Bureau, August
        18, 2005.

  3. …and people still question whether or not we are drifting apart. Lieberman, that Democrat turncoat now wants Canadians to have visas. Guess it will soon be time for Canada to start focusing on relationships in other parts of the world. Sad as we were absolutely the best of friends. Many, many have family in the States and it is becoming more like a North/South Korea situation everyday

    • I'd be very happy for us to drift further apart. I've been keen on developing trade relations with other parts of the world for years.

      'Best of friends?' The US is the only country that ever invaded us….5X

      • Oh dear, we are in a time warp. One remembers having pub discussions long ago when one was an undergraduate about how to defend the nation from the next invasion from the south. Please get serious about something as vital as the nation's relationship with the US, which any country on the planet would be delighted to enjoy.

        • Mmm well you may be, but I'm not

          And no, most countries are quite happy we're saddled with the problem because they're a confounded nuisance.

          I see they took prisoners in their last invasion though….LOL

      • Wow…the War of 1812 was almost two centuries ago and we weren't even an independent country yet. You may want to seek some professional help for that grudge you're harbouring. It can't be healthy for you.

        • Yes, the anniversary is coming up next year.

          But it isn't just about 1812, so trade your professional help in for some history lessons.

          • Well, I am a counsellor by trade and you, apparently, are a history buff.

            I'd like to propose a trade. You educate me as to when the Americans invaded Canada both a) since we have been an independent country and b) recently enough to warrant suspicion.

            In return, I shall help you work through your resentments with a mixture of grounding techniques, Gestalt, and narrative therapy.


    • Were you beat as a child? You seem to have a huge chip on your shoulder with your replies to this and other issues. Tell me, what country in the world would you rather live beside? Venezuela, Iran, China, Russia? Do not tell me Britain or Australia as they disagree with your left wing stance Fact of the matter is you are jealous because they are the 800 pound gorilla in the room and you are a pissant. Your buddy Chretien caused this border 'thickening' with his childish refusal to initiate a continent wide perimeter in concert with the Americans. Having the most amateurish imigration policy of the so-called G8 living next door to the worlds policeman ain't gonna wash. Everyone pays for your tight-assed stupidity.

      • Were you ever in school?

        We already have Russia on our other border….they're the people across the lake, remember? And when the USSR and the US talked about tossing missiles at each other….we were the battlefield.

        Any number of countries would be nice neighbours….far nicer than the US.

        You are the very kind of happy vassal that Matthew needs to counsel.

        I am not leftwing and never have been.

        Go practice your kow-tows elsewhere. I'm not interested in watching a Canadian debase himself.

    • Pfft! Do you really believe that the U.S.-Canada border can be compared to the Korean DMZ? THe DMZ has 10s of thousands of mines and barbed-wire fencing, and gun emplacements. I must miss these when I cross the border?!

  4. Asked whether Canadians should have to have visas to enter the U.S., Lieberman said <dumb stuff>

    To be fair folks, it's entirely possible Visa contributed significantly to his… campaign fund and he's confused….

  5. I think 'uber-necocon-in-liberal-drag' Lieberman meant visa credit cards, not passport visas. 'Off mike' at the Department of Hopeless Insecurity Conference, he was overheard to state "Were bankrupt here in the lower 49th parallel, and we desperately need your Canukistan cash. No master card, however… just visas. One more political nimrod who needs to be fully Mubaraked.

    • He'll be gone in 2012 thank goodness.

  6. So our joint pride in the "World's Longest Undefended Border" has morphed into a security threat. How long do we support US paranoia by feeding their security theatre addiction? An empire in decline is indeed a pathetic thing, almost as pathetic as Sen Liebermann (Ind. Tel Aviv)

  7. How's this…….

    Let's tell the Yanks Toronto is expected to be too crowded this summer, so we'll be shipping all the participants of next years PRIDE parade to Texas.

    Wanna see a fence go up fast.

    Oh boy….

  8. Two comments:
    First, wrt
    “DHS data show that in fiscal year 2009, apprehensions of inadmissible aliens along the northern border were approximately 1.3 percent of apprehensions along the southwest border, and pounds of illegal narcotics seized along the northern border were about 1.6 percent of pounds seized along the southwest border.”

    While some might assume the above is evidence that the border is secure, they are no doubt forgetting sound advice from Stock that it is the unreported crime that we need to worry about.

    Second and more seriously,
    The report is actually calling for much more effect coordination between the Canadian and US agencies. Indeed at the point where the deployed resources of both countries are considered in terms of whether the border is secure implies effectively acting as a single agency. This obviously has some issues for sovereignty since for example the details of a secure border may well mean different things to Canada and the US.

  9. It's interesting that the report measures drug seizures in pounds, for two reasons: the drug trade (as near as I can tell) is usually conducted in metric units, and the resale value of recreational drugs per unit weight varies greatly. I assume, if we're talking about drugs moving into the USA, that the Canada-US border sees mainly BC bud, with a far lower value per unit weight than cocaine, which I believe typically comes in across the Mexico-US border. So the value of drugs crossing the southern border is even greater relative to the value of drugs crossing the northern border than the report indicates.

  10. Does anyone take Lieberman seriously? he;s nuts!'
    The point he was trying to make, we do indeed have terrorists , home grown in this country.Thye can slip across the border if they wanted..I don't see any of them wanting to live and vie for attention in Mexico

  11. Emily
    Are you stupid.?

    We are not Rome. If we were Canada would be a province with a proconsul in charge and have legions to command and require obedience. Do you see that happening anywhere? I don't think so.

    Grow up and get real!

    • No dear, I'm not.

      Now read closely.

      I was comparing the US to Rome….Canada would be the vassal.

      Since we are long past the stage of wearing togas, but we do have armies, and we call people by different titles than 'proconsul' now….you will see some minor differences….but over all both Rome and the US are/were empires.

      And we know how it worked out for Rome.

      Now then….you were saying?

  12. Lieberman has revealed himself to be just another ignoramus with this issue. He has no idea what he is talking about.