The United States and Canada have a new strategy for the operation of the border between the two countries which is aimed at enhancing security.
The Northern Bordern Strategy is the first unified policy to guide the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) operations along what is the world’s longest common border.
‘With communities and businesses that reach both sides of the border, the economies and security of the United States and Canada are inextricably linked,’ said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.
‘The Northern Border Strategy provides a unifying framework for the Department’s work focused on enhancing the security and resiliency along our northern border while expediting legitimate travel and trade with Canada,’ she explained.
It identifies three key goals for the Northern border. Firstly deterring and preventing terrorism and smuggling, trafficking, and illegal immigration; safeguarding and encouraging the efficient flow of lawful trade, travel, and immigration; and ensuring community resiliency before, during, and after terrorist attacks and other disasters.
DHS’s strategy for the Northern border is built on the premise that security and lawful trade and travel are mutually reinforcing. Separating higher risk traffic from lower risk traffic, utilising advance information, and inspecting people and goods bound for our shared borders at the earliest opportunity enables officials on both sides to expedite the processing of lawful travel and trade while preventing illegal crossings and activities, as well as diseases and dangerous goods from entering either country.
To accomplish these goals, DHS will use resources to improve information sharing and analysis within DHS, as well as with key partners. The Department will also enhance coordination of US and Canadian joint interdictions and investigations, deploy technologies to aid joint security efforts along the border, and continue to update infrastructure to facilitate travel and trade.
DHS will partner with federal, state, local, tribal, and private sector partners as well as its Canadian counterparts to carry out key elements of the NBS throughout the region. The NBS is consistent with and will support the vision articulated by President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.