Act might lead to fence along Canadian border

| Friday, December 23, 2005

Now that would be one long fence.

Part of the “Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005” includes a study for possible physical barriers – including fences – along sections of the U.S. border with Canada.

The border is about 3,900 miles long. Early media reports do not indicate how much of the border the proponents want to secure with a physical barrier.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA, called for the study in an amendment to the act, and lawmakers agreed 260-159 to include the amendment.

According to the amendment, the Department of Homeland Security is to report to Congress in one year with findings about whether the border needs a fence to protect national security.

U.S. immigration and illegal border activity have made headlines with the recent act and with President Bush's call for more security along the Mexican border. Add to that the requirement for passports by 2008 for all people traveling from one North American country to another. National trucking associations in the U.S. and Canada are reportedly seeking an exemption of the passport requirement for truckers.

The Canadian Press reported that a fence along the U.S. border with Canada is one way for politicians to show they are not being biased against Mexico, where the border act already calls for more physical barriers, cameras and security.

Canadian officials speaking to The CP have sarcastically compared the proposal to the Berlin Wall.

Canada is currently in an election season, and politicians are reportedly using the issue as campaign fodder.

An issue that hasn't yet surfaced is what will happen to the migration of wild animals along the open ranges of the North American continent should a fence become part of the landscape.

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