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Thread: Sens. Susan Collins, Angus King look to strengthen border with Canada

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Sens. Susan Collins, Angus King look to strengthen border with Canada

    Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm
    Steve Collins

    Maine’s U.S. senators are pushing for greater security along the Canadian border.

    A measure aimed at strengthening the 5,500-mile-long border recently passed the U.S. Senate without dissent and is now in the hands of the U.S. House, which may act before the current session ends next month. It has already backed a similar bill.

    “Maine law enforcement officers and border patrol agents are the first line of defense in maintaining the security of our border with Canada and protecting Maine from threats,” said Maine's two senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, in a joint statement.

    They said the proposal they co-sponsored would help officials understand “the northern border's needs, strengths and vulnerabilities.”

    The Northern Border Security Review Act “will play a significant role in bolstering our border security, supporting law enforcement and keeping Maine citizens safe,” Collins and King said in the statement. Maine’s border with Canada is 611 miles long, nearly all of it sparsely populated.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill would cost about $1 million to implement and would not have any impact on state or local spending.

    A 2015 report from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found that there are about 5,700 Border Patrol and other federal officers along the Canadian border.

    But, it said, “Due to the large size of the border and the relatively small number of agents patrolling it, drug smugglers and other traffickers have been able to move illicit goods across the northern border in both directions. For instance, cocaine from South America travels north across the United States to the U.S.-Canada border, while ecstasy and marijuana flow south to U.S. markets from Canada. Sometimes the two are traded directly, in integrated ‘double exchanges.’”

    The report also said guns, cigarettes and other goods are shipped across the border illegally, and that undocumented immigrants are able to cross as well.

    It said “some experts also believe that terrorists could exploit vulnerabilities along our northern border to carry out an attack on the U.S.”

    With the rise of a terrorist pseudo-state in parts of Syria and Iraq and the ability of ISIS to recruit foreign fighters, the committee said, “The threat along our northern border has increased significantly since 2012.”

    One of the measure’s sponsors, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a prepared statement that she sought to strengthen the cooperation between border security agents and local law enforcement officials.

    “Keeping our country safe means making sure all of our nation’s borders – both north and south – are adequately protected to meet modern-day challenges,” Heitkamp said.

    U.S. Sen. Gary Peter, D-Mich., said the border “is critical to our economy, allowing goods and travelers through some of the busiest border crossings in the nation.”

    He said the proposal's passage “will help protect the northern border and prevent criminal activity like human trafficking as we work to promote more efficient trade and travel to help grow our economy.”

    The proposal would require the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a detailed threat analysis of the Northern Border Region, updating one finished in 2012.

    It calls on the federal department to examine everything from terrorism to the cooperation required between border agents, tribal law enforcement and local police across the length of the border, including 120 formal entry points.

    About 300,000 people and $910 million in trade cross the northern border daily, according to Collins and King.

    http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine...canada/2037321
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Yeah sure! Secure the Northern Border too. Lets secure all borders. I don't think we need a wall on the Northern Border, maybe more resources in key areas. The biggest problems are the southern border and visa overstays.
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    It's about time somebody started talking about our northern border. The Wall should not just be about Mexico. But if Trump wants Mexico to pay for our northern border protection too, that's OK with me. South and Central America remain the real problem for illegal immigration with Mexico being the most likely to collect on the movement and the most responsible for softening resistance to illegal immigration.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    It makes you wonder where Susan Collins has been all these years, doesn't it? Not a peep out of her until after Trump wins, now she's all about securing the borders.
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    Heitkamp sponsored legislation to increase border security heads to Obama's desk

    By Bradford Arick | Posted: Fri 10:57 AM, Dec 02, 2016

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (Valley News Live): The Northern Border Security Review Act will head to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

    The Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Heitkamp, is to help assess and strengthen American security along the northern border. It unanimously passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, and now heads to the president’s desk.

    “Effectively protecting our nation’s 5,500-mile long Northern Border requires accurate assessments of the threats we face so we can make sure we have the robust security force our communities need to stay safe,” said Heitkamp. “In North Dakota, the Northern Border touches so many of our communities, and after visiting the border on multiple occasions – including Portal earlier this month – and meeting with border security officials about their growing challenges on the ground, I wanted to do everything I could to make a difference. Now, Congress has passed my bipartisan bill to do just that. When this bill is signed into law, it will help our dedicated forces along the border get the support they need to address serious threats and technology gaps on the Northern Border, and meet the challenges they face in attracting and retaining good employees to work in remote border areas like Portal, and across the country.”

    Sen. Heitkamp’s office reports she’s been working since 2013 to better protect the northern border, and has been meeting with border security officials at Pembina among other places.

    At 5,500 miles long, including 1,500 miles between Alaska and Canada, the Northern Border has 120 border crossings, many of which are small and in rural areas.

    Approximately 300,000 people and $910 million in trade cross the Northern Border every day, representing the largest bilateral flow of goods and people in the world.

    http://www.valleynewslive.com/conten...404280846.html
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