US Puts Up Three-Foot High Fence to Keep Canadians Out

The Americans put up the roughly four-kilometre barrier earlier this week. Authorities say the fence will impede drug runners.
Anya Zoledziowski
Toronto, CA
August 20, 2020, 6:14pm
Boundary Road in United States
Spouses who live on opposite sides of the U.S.-Canada border frequently visit each other at the exact spot where the U.S. just put up a little fence. Photo by Elaine Thompson (AP)

The U.S. has erected a wee fence at one entry point along the border with Canada to keep Canadians out and Americans in.

The “cable barrier system” is being installed to prevent people from crossing the border by car—on purpose or by accident—and “endangering citizens in both countries,” U.S. Border Patrol said in a statement. It sits on the U.S. side of the boundary and is about a metre tall (three feet) and 3.8 kilometres long, according to the National Post.

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The Post reported the development of the barricade was approved in April 2019, but came as a surprise to local officials when construction started this week. Usually, structures aren’t allowed within 10 feet of the border on either side.

The fence sits between Boundary Road in the U.S., just north of Lynden, Washington, and Canada’s Zero Avenue, which is 20 minutes south from Langley City, British Columbia. With the U.S.-Canada travel ban in effect, several people have sat at the boundary point on and off since March to meet with friends and family—and romantic dates—who can’t cross over.

The U.S. said the small barricade addresses binational safety concerns that plague “vulnerable” sections of the border, such as drug smuggling.

“This safety cable barrier not only protects people in the United States and Canada, but it also aids in securing this portion of the border by deterring illegal vehicle entries in both directions,” said Acting Chief Patrol Agent Tony Holladay, adding that trans-national criminal group have often smuggled drugs and people at this border section.

According to CBC News, the RCMP, Canada’s federal police force, seized about 200 kilograms of methamphetamine before charging an American with importation and possession of the drug for the purpose of trafficking. The suspect allegedly crossed into Canada in an all-terrain vehicle hauling a trailer.

Canada Border Services Agency told VICE News in a statement that all questions are being deferred to its American counterpart because the fence is on the U.S. side of the border.

American Border Patrol did not say whether COVID-19 expedited the building of the structure. Curiously, the U.S. is experiencing a decidedly worse pandemic outcome than Canada, yet is still allowing Canadian citizens in as long as they fly. Canada is keen on keeping Americans out for now. 

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