Spanning more than 5,000 miles and 13 states, including Alaska, the U.S.-Canada border could pose a much greater threat to the U.S. than initially thought.
That’s according to U.S. Border Patrol Division Chief Bradley Curtis, who spoke with WLNY-TV in New York City, which is, as the station pointed out, only 300 miles from the Canadian border.
“Up here we’re encountering people from every single country,” Curtis said. “They’re coming across on snowmobiles. They’re coming across on ATVs. … We have 95 miles of water boundaries, so people come across on boat, canoes, anything you can think of.”
Curtis cited one security concern in particular: Canada’s “open door policy” for Syrian refugees.
Border Patrol operations officer Brad Brandt added to Curtis’ worries, saying that border agents have seen “illegal alien smuggling, narcotic smuggling and currency smuggling.”
In the past year alone, roughly 10,000 pounds of marijuana and millions of dollars in illegal currency were seized by federal agents at the northern border, according to WLNY.
Michael Laravia, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, said that, in addition, “there is a significant amount of violence” associated with drugs coming into the U.S.
Authorities are have also expressed concern over a number of international shipments leaving the U.S. containing illegal guns that have been stopped, WLNY reported.
All that to say, the Border Patrol, which currently has about 300 agents covering roughly 300 miles, has asked for more agents at or near the northern border, but those attempts have thus far proven unsuccessful.
“There’s only so many border patrol agents in the country allowed. We’re competing with the southwest border,” Curtis said.
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