Yes, Virginia, passports at the border pick everyone’s pockets .. and don’t catch any more terrorists either

Jul 16th, 2009 | By | Category: In Brief

Premier Charest ready to cross Canada-US border Just in case you had any doubts, two current events in the USA today confirm that the increasingly “tighter border” between the United States and Canada, in vain pursuit of US anti-terrorism policy over the past eight years, “hurts [the] economy” on both sides of the line.

To start with, about “500 officials, experts and business people from the US and Canada” are in Boise, Idaho this week, “ to discuss cross-border economic issues” at “the annual meeting of the Pacific North West Economic Region.” And there has been “lots of talk about the impact of border policy changes in the US since the 2001 terrorist attacks.”

Donald Alper, e.g., director of the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University has urged that all the new “almost virtual wall” between the two countries “does is screw up trade,” and “cause hard feelings among Canadians and Americans.” Even more foolishly: “America is essentially using anti-terrorism tools to go after mostly small drug runners … The number of people caught for carrying illegal drugs has gone way, way up … But we haven’t caught a single terrorist since 9/11.”

Meanwhile, back east, “a detailed report released Monday by the Brookings Institution, a Washington, DC-based think tank” has concluded “the unfortunate reality is that the [Canada-US] border today remains a source of frustration and economic drag.” Both the Detroit Free Press and the Windsor Star have reported on the Brookings study in some depth. ( If you have the interest and energy to read the 40-page report itself see “Toward a New Frontier: Improving the US-Canadian Border.”) Who knows? Maybe now someone with the right stuff somewhere will actually do something about this growing problem, before it strangles all the literally millions of Canadians and Americans directly concerned?

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