This was in the news recently — Lawyer for B.C. man who pleaded guilty to migrant smuggling to challenge mandatory minimum penalty.

But search warrant documents previously obtained by the National Post showed Kong was the subject of a years-long investigation by the Canada Border Services Agency into an operation that saw Chinese nationals fly to the U.S. on valid travel visas and then walk across the border into Canada via Peace Arch Park — a park that straddles the boundary between Surrey, B.C., and Blaine, Wash., and is located next to a major port of entry.

This made me curious about security of CA-US border, and reminded me Smuggler's Inn. Thus I sampled some locations on Google Maps and was flabberghasted to see no fences or monitors!

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Then I saw Smuggler's Inn owner charged with trying to help 7 people illegally enter Canada

Boulé, who was born in 1949, has owned the Smuggler's Inn on Canada View Drive for 20 years.

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Excuse my French, but no s**t Sherlock! Do you need Sherlock Holmes to deduce that this unfenced borer is TOO easy to cross? Or that an innkeeper right on the border ought be monitored?

Or are illegal immigrations here rare? Or don't CBSA and CBP care?

  • 2
    Until recent years, the US-Canadian border wasn't fenced or guarded at all. There are even public buildings and parks that straddle the border, e.g. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haskell_Free_Library_and_Opera_House & google.com/… So why should it be? – jamesqf Sep 5 '19 at 3:46
  • @jamesqf Why it should be? Because Canada and the US are not in the customs union. If it's possible not to be in the customs union and have a soft border, why is the Irish backstop such a big issue? – michau Sep 5 '19 at 11:28
  • @michau there is a difference between theoretically having customs controls that aren't always imposed because of resource constraints (as with the US and Canada) and not having controls at all (as with the UK and Ireland and all other countries in the EU customs union). Switzerland and Norway have customs borders with the EU that are more similar to the US-Canada example in that they are fairly porous, but they exist. As far as I understand it, a "hard" border means the existence of theoretical controls; the opposite of hard here is "open" rather than "soft." – phoog Sep 5 '19 at 19:31

A question of limited budgets and priorities.

Yes, there are illegal immigrants from (or through) Canada to the US, or for that matter people fleeing justice or the draft in the US to Canada.

But the numbers are low enough that the US would rather concentrate their forces at their southern borders and the airports.

  • 1
    This doesn't explain much. There have been a lot of arguments recently that two countries that aren't in a customs union need physical infrastructure at the border. If that wasn't the case, the Irish backstop wouldn't be the key problem in Brexit negotiations; the UK would simply exit the customs union and the border could remain soft, just like the border on the pictures above. – michau Sep 5 '19 at 11:25
  • @michau the question is about immigration, not customs. The potential problem with the UK and Ireland is customs, not immigration. It's not relevant. – phoog Sep 5 '19 at 19:34

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