Still looking at Canada
Sen. Feinstein's concerns and question in the following article related to the US/Mexico border, but National Intelligence Director Negroponte's answer is very telling.
What has Canada done to increase border security since 9/11? Very little, despite all the hype.
Hopefully the new Conservative government will give some serious consideration to Senator Colin Kenney's report, BORDERLINE INSECURE (pdf)
BORDERLINE INSECURE (HTML)
BORDERLINE INSECURE (Exec. Summary)
One important recommendation in the report is to reverse the priorities of border guards from being tax collectors first and guards second. Kenney advocates harmonizing the personal exemption with US levels by 2007 and from there, incremental increases up to $2000.00 by 2010.
In 2003/2004, duties collected totalled $98.5 million dollars. Are we willing to risk both the physical and economic security of Canada for the sake of worrying about what someone is buying in the US?
Senator fears U.S. border is 'gateway' for terroristsThat one little comment from Negroponte speaks volumes. There is much work to be done. Time to get on with it.
February 3, 2006
Sen. Dianne Feinstein yesterday asked the top U.S. intelligence official whether the U.S. border had become a "major gateway" for terrorists, citing a threefold increase in the number of non-Mexicans apprehended while seeking to illegally enter the United States.
The California Democrat posed the question during a hearing with National Intelligence Director John D. Negroponte and other heads of U.S. intelligence agencies, called to present their annual threat assessments to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
"Last year, Admiral [James] Loy and I discussed border security, particularly the increasing problem of penetration of other-than-Mexicans across our borders ... and I said at that time I felt it was a major gateway for terrorists to access the United States," she said. The retired admiral was the acting head of the Department of Homeland Security at the time.
"Do you have ongoing intelligence efforts to prevent this from happening? And is there any evidence up to this point that it is, in fact, happening?" she asked, noting that the number of apprehended non-Mexican aliens rose from 49,545 in 2003 to 155,000 last year.
Mr. Negroponte said the increase was "an issue that we're sensitive to," noting that although the U.S. border with Canada "has to some degree been of a bit greater concern than that with Mexico," the intelligence community was intent on watching the border "very, very carefully."