(The Boston Globe)
For Homeland Security officials, it’s a point of pride. For Canadians, it’s a festering sore point.
Since the 9/11 jihadist attacks, the 5,525-mile-long border between Canada and the United States has been transformed from the world’s friendliest to a high security zone marked by fortified crossing points, thermal “body detectors,” swiveling surveillance cameras, and the occasional low-skimming Blackhawk helicopter or spy drone.
This is a bitter change for Canadians, most of whom live within 100 miles of the US and who – more than Americans – routinely cross the border for shopping, business, or pleasure. These days they are closely questioned and obliged to show a passport. (For decades, a provincial driver’s license sufficed – and was seldom inspected.) The number of Americans travelling to Canada, meanwhile, has dropped.
The real problem at the US-Canada border is not terrorism or illegal immigration – by best estimates, only about 2% of those who enter the United States illegally come by way of Canada – but the failure of two friends to grapple with red tape, bureaucratic procedures, and exaggerated vigilance. Click here to read more.