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Secure northern border



Published: Fri, October 20, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Providence Journal: The first step in securing a border is finding it. On the U.S. border with Mexico, the line is easy to see. But the boundary between Maine and Canada? That's another story.

Boeing has been given a 3 million, three-year contract to put cameras, sensors and even unmanned airplanes along the 6,000 miles of border with Mexico and Canada. But before the high-tech gear can be of any use along some parts of the Canadian border, simpler gadgets like weed-whackers and chainsaws will be needed. Obviously, 3 million will not do the job.

"If you can't find it, then you can't secure it," said Dennis Schornack, U.S. commissioner of the International Boundary Commission, with perfect logic. His agency is responsible for maintaining the U.S.-Canadian border.

It seems that the border areas between New England and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick are overgrown with weeds, brush and fast-growing trees. There are monuments and markers designating the actual border, but they are hidden by the greenery.

In the days before 9/11, no one cared much where Maine ended and Quebec began. Those days are gone, and we have to know who is crossing into this country from Canada.

America has contributed 1.43 million this year and Canada 2.2 million for securing the northern border. We have to get more serious about better protecting the northern border and that apparently will cost more money than has been allocated so far. The United States has no choice but to come up with it.




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