Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

August 9, 2006

Field hearing looks at northern border security

Filed under: Border Security — by Christian Beckner on August 9, 2006

The Seattle Times and Bellingham Herald report today on a House field hearing held yesterday in Bellingham, Washington (near my hometown of Mount Vernon) on northern border security.

The hearing addressed the various deficiencies in security at the northern border, from the lack of Border Patrol officials, to inadequate technology, to the difficulty that Whatcom County faces in handling the legal caseload of people caught at the border.

These are all significant deficiencies, if one looks at this issue narrowly, simply in terms of stopping the flow of illegal people and goods across the US-Canada border. But I think that all of these funding decisions need to be considered in a broader context, in terms of efforts beyond the border that are likely to be more effective at stopping terrorism. Investment in intelligence cooperation and information-sharing with Canada, and measures to align U.S. and Canadian entry procedures (similar to the EU Schengen arrangements), will do a lot more to improve the security of both countries at the margin than adding additional resources on the border.

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