The Lawless Border With Canada Was Once America's Main Security Concern

The Lawless Border With Canada Was Once America's Main Security Concern

Near the westernmost point of the border between the United States and Canada, the Peace Arch straddles the world’s longest undefended international boundary. The inscription atop the monument honors the friendship between two “children of a common mother,” but this was not always the case. The U.S. and Canada may be peaceful neighbors now, but they had a violently contentious relationship in their early years.

In the aftermath of the American Revolution, the United States and the British colony of Canada endured “more than a century of suspicion, hatred and bloodshed,” writes John Boyko in Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation.

America’s northern border was once a lawless no-man’s-land frequented by counterfeiters, transnational criminals and outlaw gangs smuggling alcohol, produce, opium, gypsum and livestock. These smugglers deprived the American government of its fiscal lifeblood—import duties—but were popular with people along the border since they generated jobs and kept prices low.

After the Embargo Act of 1807 closed American ports to foreign trade, United States revenue agents could do little to stop the deluge of pirated goods that crossed the border from Canada. During the War of 1812, British troops responded to the American invasion of Canada by launching repeated border raids, even burning Buffalo to the ground.

Throughout the 1800s, the United States had very lax control of its northern border as customs officers resided in village centers miles from the dividing line. Part of the border security problem was that oftentimes no one was exactly sure where the boundary was. In fact, when President James Monroe ordered construction of a fort on the New York shoreline of Lake Champlain after the War of 1812, it was inadvertently built a half-mile inside enemy territory due to a surveying error.

A lack of official treaties and federal extradition powers also emboldened lawbreakers along America’s northern boundary. “Criminals could cross and re-cross the border at will, shielding themselves from the territorial reach of the law that pursued them,” says Bradley Miller, a University of British Columbia history professor and author of Borderline Crime: Fugitive Criminals and the Challenge of the Border, 1819-1914.

Miller says that with no formal procedures in place, local police took justice into their own hands. “From the beginning of the 19th century until at least the time of World War I, police officers, other state officials and community members participated in an informal system of cross-border abductions in which fugitives were found, arrested and returned to the jurisdiction whose laws they had violated outside of any formal legal system. There were no treaties or statutes that regulated, empowered or limited this system.”

During the Civil War, Union draft-dodgers and escaped Confederate prisoners of war streamed north across the border to find safe haven in Canada. Although most Canadians viewed slavery as abhorrent, Boyko says many Canadians also hoped a Confederate victory could shatter the monolith of the United States, which threatened to absorb Canada as it continued its march toward its Manifest Destiny.

In the aftermath of defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, the Confederacy established a spy ring in Toronto and Montreal that exported terror across the border. From their Canadian sanctuary, Confederate agents raided St. Albans, Vermont, in October 1864 and weeks later attempted to set New York City afire. “They were trying to distract the Northern troops,” Boyko says. “Every soldier dealing with the border was one less fighting in the South.”

In fact, weeks before he assassinated Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth spent time in Montreal meeting with Jacob Thompson, head of the Confederate Secret Service, and amassing money for the operation, says Boyko. In the days following the shooting, conspirator John Surratt Jr. fled north, where a Catholic priest in Quebec gave him asylum before he absconded to Liverpool.

“When the trial of Booth’s conspirators began, a vast majority of the questions asked were seeking to link Canada to the assassination,” Boyko says. “It was clear that Canada was not officially involved, but the conspirators used Canada to plan the assassination and escape justice.”

Widespread smuggling continued after Canada became a self-governing entity in 1867. During Prohibition, bootleggers employed fleets of automobiles, boats and sleighs to illegally transport alcohol from Canada to its thirsty neighbor to the south. It was a lucrative enterprise. A case of whiskey purchased in Quebec for $15 could be sold for $120 on the other side of the border.

A virtual pipeline of alcohol flowed across the Detroit River from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit. By some estimates, three-quarters of all liquor smuggled into the United States from Canada during Prohibition crossed through the aptly-nicknamed “Detroit-Windsor Funnel.” Miller says creative smugglers built warehouses with trapdoors over the Detroit River so that boats could pull up underneath to load their contraband, out of view of customs and police officers. Bootleggers modified Great Lakes fishing boats with specially designed holds for kegs and even installed an underwater cable system that could deliver 40 cases of liquor an hour across the river.

While American border security concerns today are focused on the boundary with Mexico, smuggling is still a problem to the north along the 5,525-mile border with Canada. The United States Drug Intelligence Center estimates that Canadian gangs smuggle $56 billion in drugs across the border every year.

Airport security

Airport security refers to the techniques and methods used in an attempt to protect passengers, staff, aircraft, and airport property from accidental/malicious harm, crime, terrorism, and other threats.

Aviation security is a combination of measures and human and material resources in order to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference. Unlawful interference could be acts of terrorism, sabotage, threat to life and property, communication of false threat, bombing, etc.


The Mexico–United States border extends 3,145 kilometers (1,954 mi), in addition to the maritime boundaries of 29 kilometers (18 mi) into the Pacific Ocean and 19 kilometers (12 mi) into the Gulf of Mexico. [6] [7]

The Mexico–United States border begins at the Initial Point of Boundary Between U.S. and Mexico, which is set one marine league (three nautical miles) south of the southernmost point of San Diego Bay. The border then proceeds for 227 kilometers (141 mi) in a straight line towards the confluence of the Colorado River and Gila River. [8] [9] The border continues southwards along the Colorado River for 39 kilometers (24 mi), until it reaches a point 20 miles (32 km) south of the Gila River confluence. The border then follows a series of lines and parallels totaling 859 kilometers (534 mi). First, it follows a straight line from the Colorado River to the intersection of the 31° 20′ parallel north and the 111th meridian west. It then proceeds eastwards along the 31° 20′ parallel north up to a meridian 100 miles (161 km) west of the point where the Rio Grande crosses the 31° 47′ parallel north, [9] It then proceeds northwards along that meridian up to the 31° 47′ parallel north and then eastwards along that parallel until it meets the Rio Grande. [10]

According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, [11] the continental border then follows the middle of the Rio Grande—according to the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the two nations, "along the deepest channel" (also known as the thalweg)—a distance of 2,020 kilometers (1,255 mi) to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. [9] The Rio Grande frequently meanders along the Texas–Mexico border. As a result, the United States and Mexico have a treaty by which the Rio Grande is maintained as the border, with new cut-offs and islands being transferred to the other nation as necessary. The Boundary Treaty of 1970 between Mexico and the United States settled all outstanding boundary disputes and uncertainties related to the Rio Grande border.

The U.S. states along the border, from west to east, are California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The Mexican states along the border are Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. Among the U.S. states, Texas has the longest stretch of the border with Mexico, while California has the shortest. Among the states in Mexico, Chihuahua has the longest border with the United States, while Nuevo León has the shortest. Along the border are 23 U.S. counties and 39 Mexican municipalities.

The start of the border fence in the state of New Mexico—just west of El Paso, Texas.

U.S. Border Patrol helicopter along El Camino del Diablo, Arizona–Sonora border, 2004.

Border between Nogales, Arizona, on the left, and Nogales, Sonora, on the right.

Beach in Tijuana at the border in 2006.

A CBP Border Patrol vehicle sitting near Mexico-U.S. border.

Prior to the Mexican–American War Edit

In the mid-16th century, after the discovery of silver, settlers from various countries and backgrounds began to arrive in the area. This period of sparse settlement included colonizers from different backgrounds. The area was part of New Spain. In the early 19th century, the United States bought the lands known as the Louisiana Purchase from France and began to expand steadily (militarily) westward in its pursuit of Manifest destiny. [12]

After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, the border between the United States and New Spain was not clearly defined. The border was established in the 1819 Adams–Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain, which specified a border in the vicinity of the western edge of the Mississippi River watershed. Mexico gained its independence from Spain, and the border was reaffirmed in the 1828 Treaty of Limits.

Mexico attempted to create a buffer zone at the border that would prevent possible invasion from the north. The Mexican government encouraged thousands of their own citizens to settle in the region that is now known as Texas and even offered inexpensive land to settlers from the United States in exchange for populating the area. The influx of people did not provide the defense that Mexico had hoped for and instead Texas declared its independence in 1836, which lasted until 1845 when the U.S. annexed it.

Establishment of current border Edit

The constant conflicts in the Texas region in the mid-19th century eventually led to the Mexican–American War, which began in 1846 and ended in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In the terms of the peace treaty, Mexico lost more than 2,500,000 square kilometers (970,000 sq mi) of land, 55% [13] of its territory, including all of what is today California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and parts of what is Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma. In addition, all disputes over Texas and the disputed territory between Rio Grande and Rio Nueces were abandoned.

Five years later, the Gadsden Purchase completed the creation of the current United States–Mexico border. The purchase was initially to accommodate a planned railway right-of-way. These purchases left approximately 300,000 people living in the once disputed lands, many of whom were Mexican nationals. Following the establishment of the current border, several towns sprang up along this boundary, and many of the Mexican citizens were given free land in the northern regions of Mexico in exchange for returning and repopulating the area. [14]

Later history Edit

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and another treaty in 1884 were the agreements originally responsible for the settlement of the international border, both of which specified that the middle of the Rio Grande was the border, irrespective of any alterations in the channels or banks. The Rio Grande shifted south between 1852 and 1868, with the most radical shift in the river occurring after a flood in 1864. By 1873 the moving river-center border had cut off approximately 2.4 square kilometers (590 acres) of Mexican territory in the El Paso-Juarez area, in effect transferring the land to the United States. By a treaty negotiated in 1963, Mexico regained most of this land in what became known as the Chamizal dispute and transferred 1.07 square kilometers (260 acres) in return to the United States. Border treaties are jointly administered by the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC), which was established in 1889 to maintain the border, allocate river waters between the two nations, and provide for flood control and water sanitation. Once viewed as a model of international cooperation, in recent decades the IBWC has been heavily criticized as an institutional anachronism, by-passed by modern social, environmental and political issues. [7] In particular, jurisdictional issues regarding water rights in the Rio Grande Valley have continued to cause tension between farmers along the border, according to Mexican political scientist Armand Peschard-Sverdrup. [15] [16]

The economic development of the border region on the Mexican side of the border depended largely on its proximity to the United States, because of its remoteness from commercial centers in Mexico. During the years of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, between 1876 and 1910, the border communities boomed because of close ties to the United States and the Mexican government's support for financial investments from the United States. [17] Railroads were built that connected the northern Mexican states more to the United States than to Mexico, and the population grew tremendously. The mining industry also developed, as did the United States’ control of it. By the early 20th century companies from the United States controlled 81% of the mining industry and had invested US$500 million in the Mexican economy overall, 25% of it in the border regions. [18]

The United States Immigration Act of 1891 authorized the implementation of inspection stations at ports of entry along the Mexican and Canadian borders. The United States Immigration Act of 1917 required the passing of a literacy test and a head tax by Mexicans wanting to enter the United States legally however, during World War I, when labor shortages grew, the provisions were temporarily suspended. The United States Immigration Act of 1924 established the United States Border Patrol. [19]

The Mexican Revolution, caused at least partially by animosity toward foreign ownership of Mexican properties, began in 1910. The revolution increased the political instability in Mexico but did not significantly slow United States investment. It did reduce economic development within Mexico, however, and the border regions reflected this. As the infrastructure of communities on the United States side continued to improve, the Mexican side began to fall behind in the construction and maintenance of important transportation networks and systems necessary to municipal development. [18]

Although the Mexican Revolution caused insecurity in Mexico, it also strained United States-Mexico relations. With the Mexican Revolution lasting for 10 years, ending in 1920, and World War I simultaneously occurring between 1914 and 1918, the division between the United States and Mexico began to polarize the two nations. Constant battles and raids along the border made both authorities nervous about borderland security. The Zimmerman Telegram, a diplomatic cable sent by Germany but intercepted and decrypted by British intelligence, was meant to bait Mexico into war with the United States in order to reconquer what was taken from them during the Mexican-American War. This inspired the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to monitor suspicious activities and potential violence at the border. [20] Within 10 years, frequent provocations caused border towns to transform into battlefields, which intensified transborder restrictions, brought federal soldiers to patrol the border, and caused the construction of fences and barriers between border towns. When the battles concluded, restrictions for crossing the border were relaxed and most soldiers were sent home however, the fences remained as a physical reminder of the division between the two nations. As years passed, more fences and higher barriers were established as attentions focused on the boundary demarcation between the United States and Mexico. [21]

The first international bridge was the Brownsville & Matamoros International Bridge built in 1910. The first barrier built by the U.S. was between 1909 and 1911 in California, the first barrier built by Mexico was likely in 1918 barriers were extended in the 1920s and 1940s. [22]

The Banco Convention of 1905 between the United States and Mexico allowed, in the event of sudden changes in the course of the Rio Grande (as by flooding), for the border to be altered to follow the new course. [23] The sudden changes often created bancos (land surrounded by bends in the river that became segregated from either country by a cutoff, often caused by rapid accretion or avulsion of the alluvial channel), especially in the lower Rio Grande Valley. When these bancos are created, the International Boundary and Water Commission investigates if land previously belonging to the United States or Mexico is to be considered on the other side of the border. [24] In all cases of these adjustments along the Rio Grande under the 1905 convention, which occurred on 37 different dates from 1910 to 1976, the transferred land was small (ranging from one to 646 acres) and uninhabited. [25] [26] [27]

The Rio Grande Rectification Treaty of 1933 straightened and stabilized the river boundary through the highly developed El Paso-Juárez valley. Numerous parcels of land were transferred between the two countries during the construction period, 1935–1938. At the end, each nation had ceded an equal area of land to the other. [28] [29]

The Boundary Treaty of 1970 transferred an area of Mexican territory to the U.S., near Presidio and Hidalgo, Texas, to build flood control channels. In exchange, the U.S. ceded other land to Mexico, including five parcels near Presidio, the Horcon Tract and Beaver Island near Roma, Texas. On November 24, 2009, the U.S. ceded 6 islands in the Rio Grande to Mexico. At the same time, Mexico ceded 3 islands and 2 bancos to the U.S. This transfer, which had been pending for 20 years, was the first application of Article III of the 1970 Boundary Treaty. [30] [31] [32]

The border separating Mexico and the United States is the most frequently crossed international boundary in the world, [1] [2] with approximately 350 million legal crossings taking place annually. [1] [3] [33]

There are 48 U.S.–Mexico border crossings, with 330 ports of entry. At these points of entry, people trying to get into the U.S. are required to open their bags for inspection. [34] Border crossings take place by roads, pedestrian walkways, railroads and ferries. From west to east, below is a list of the border city "twinnings" cross-border municipalities connected by one or more legal border crossings.

The total population of the borderlands—defined as those counties and municipios lining the border on either side—stands at some 12 million people.

Tijuana-San Ysidro border Edit

The San Ysidro Port of Entry is located between San Ysidro, California and Tijuana, Baja California. Approximately 50,000 vehicles and 25,000 pedestrians use this entry daily. [35] In the U.S., I-5 crosses directly to Tijuana, and the highway's southern terminus is this crossing. In 2005, more than 17 million vehicles and 50 million people entered the U.S. through San Ysidro. [36] [37] [38] [39] Among those who enter the United States through San Ysidro are transfronterizos, American citizens who live in Mexico and attend school in the United States. [40]

It has influenced the every day lifestyle of people that live in these border towns. [41] Along the coast of Baja California, there are neighborhoods of Americans living in Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, and Ensenada, whose residents commute to the United States daily to work. [42] Additionally, many Mexicans also enter the United States to commute daily to work. [43] In 1999, 7.6% of the labor force of Tijuana was employed in San Diego. [44]

The average wait time to cross into the United States is approximately an hour. [45] The thousands of vehicles that transit through the border every day is causing air pollution in San Ysidro and Tijuana. [46] The emission of carbon monoxide (CO) and other vehicle related air contaminants have been linked to health complications such as cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, birth outcomes, premature death, obesity, asthma and other respiratory diseases. [47] The high levels of traffic collusion and the extended wait times has affected the mental health, stress levels, and aggressive behavior of the people who cross frequently. [47] The San Ysidro border is heavily militarized, separated by three walls, border patrol agents and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [48]

Tijuana is the next target for San Diegan developers because of its fast-growing economy, lower cost of living, cheap prices and proximity to San Diego. [49] While this would benefit the tourist aspect of the city, it is damaging to low-income residents that will no longer be able to afford the cost of living in Tijuana. [50] Tijuana is home to many deportees from the United States, many who have lost everything and do not have an income to rely on and are now in a new city in which they have to quickly adapt in order to survive. [51] San Diego developers would bring many benefits to Tijuana, but deportees and the poor run the risk of being impacted by the gentrification of Tijuana. [52]

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Edit

In late 2006, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a rule regarding new identification requirements for U.S. citizens and international travelers entering the United States implemented on January 23, 2007. This final rule and first phase of the WHTI specifies nine forms of identification, one of which is required to enter the United States by air: a valid passport a passport card a state enhanced driver's license or state enhanced non-driver ID card (available in Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Washington [53] ) approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security a trusted traveler program card (Global Entry, NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI) an enhanced tribal identification card a Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card Form I-872 – American Indian Card a valid Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business or a valid U.S. military identification card when traveling on official orders. [54] [55] [56] [57]

In August, 2015, Mexico began enforcing a rule that all foreign citizens that plan to stay in the country for more than seven days or are travelling on business will have to pay a 330 pesos ($21) fee and show their passport. [58] [59] [60]

Veterinary inspections Edit

When animals are imported from one country to another, there is the possibility that diseases and parasites can move with them. Thus, most countries impose animal health regulations on the import of animals. Most animals imported to the United States must be accompanied by import permits obtained in advance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and/or health certification papers from the country of origin.

Veterinary inspections are often required, and are available only at designated ports [61] advance contact with port veterinarians is recommended. [62] Animals crossing the United States–Mexico border may have a country of origin other than the country where they present for inspection. Such animals include those from the U.S. that cross to Mexico and return, and animals from other countries that travel overland through Mexico or the U.S. before crossing the border.

APHIS imposes precautions to keep out several equine diseases, including glanders, covering sickness|dourine, equine infectious anemia, equine piroplasmosis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, and contagious equine metritis. [63] APHIS also checks horses to prevent the introduction of ticks and other parasites. In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors look for horses and livestock that stray across the border carrying ticks. These animals are often called wetstock, and the inspectors are referred to as tickriders. [64]

Per APHIS, horses originating from Canada can enter the United States with a Canadian government veterinary health certificate and a negative test for EIA. [63] Horses from Mexico must have a health certificate pass negative tests for EIA, dourine, glanders, and EP at a USDA import center and undergo precautionary treatments for external parasites at the port of entry. Horses from other Western Hemisphere countries must have the same tests as those from Mexico and, except for horses from Argentina, must be held in quarantine for at least seven days as a check for VEE.

APHIS imposes similar testing and certification requirements on horses from other parts of the world but without the quarantine for VEE. These horses are held in quarantine—usually three days—or until tests are completed. Because the disease equine piroplasmosis (equine babesiosis) is endemic in Mexico but not established in the United States, [65] transportation of horses from Mexico to the United States requires evaluation of horses for the presence of this disease. A leading exception to this rule is the special waiver obtained by riders participating in the Cabalgata Binacional Villista (see cavalcade).

Import from the United States to Mexico requires evidence within the prior 45 days of freedom from EIA, among other requirements. [66]

Background Edit

Data from the United States Border Patrol Agency's 2010 annual report shows that among the total number of border crossings without documentation from various countries into the United States, 90% were from Mexico alone. In addition, there are more than 6 million undocumented Mexican nationals residing in the United States. [67] The border has a very high rate of documented and undocumented migrant crossings every year. With such a high rate of people crossing annually to the United States, the country has invested in several distinct security measures.

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed an appropriation bill which gave the Customs and Border Protection, specifically the Border Patrol, 600 million dollars to implement and improve security. The U.S. government has invested many millions of dollars on border security, although this has not stopped undocumented immigration in the United States. [68] In June 2018, the U.S. government announced installation of facial recognition system for monitoring immigrant activities. [69]

Border enforcement Edit

The Border Patrol was created in 1924 with its primary mission to detect and prevent the illegal entry of immigrants into the United States. Together with other law enforcement officers, the Border Patrol helps maintain borders that work – facilitating the flow of legal immigration and goods while preventing the illegal trafficking of people and contraband. The present strategy to enforce migration along the United States-Mexico border is by the means of "prevention through deterrence". Its primary goal is to completely prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the United States from Mexico rather than apprehending the unauthorized who are already in the country. As assertive as it was, "prevention through deterrence" was arguably unsuccessful, with a doubling in size of undocumented immigrants population during the two decades leading up to 2014. [70] [71]

In order to effectively enforce border protection, the United States' policies and regulations have looked to make border crossings more hazardous through the implementation of various operations, one of those being the "funnel effect". The tactic was meant to discourage migration from Mexico into the United States by forcing migrants to travel further around barriers where the terrain and weather are more risky, but the strategy was not as successful as initially planned. [72] As a result, the effect funneled more immigrants to their death even with the assistant of coyotes (smugglers). Not only has this approach caused fatalities throughout the United States-Mexico border, but it has even stirred up a nuisance for documented immigrants and American citizens. There has been general concern about the Border Patrol and other agencies abusing their authority by racial profiling and conducting unwarranted searches outside the exception of the 25 miles (40 km) border zone, but still within the 100 miles (161 km) border zone.

In 2012, Border Patrol agents made over 364,000 arrests of people illegally entering the country. Considerable success has been achieved in restoring integrity and safety to the border, by putting in place a border-control strategy. These include Operation Gatekeeper in San Diego Operation Hold the Line in El Paso Operation Rio Grande in McAllen Operation Safeguard in Tucson and the Arizona Border Control Initiative along the Arizona border. [73] [74] [71]

According to Vulliamy, one in five Mexican nationals will visit or work in the United States at one point in their lifetime. [75] As of 2010, the border is guarded by more than 20,000 Border Patrol agents, more than at any time in its history. [76] The border is paralleled by United States Border Patrol interior checkpoints on major roads generally between 25 and 75 miles (40 and 121 km) from the U.S. side of the border, and garitas generally within 50 km (31 mi) of the border on the Mexican side. [77] [78] [79]

There are an estimated half a million illegal entries into the United States each year. [80] Border Patrol activity is concentrated around border cities such as San Diego and El Paso which have extensive border fencing. This means that the flow of illegal immigrants is diverted into rural mountainous and desert areas, leading to several hundred migrant deaths along the Mexico–U.S. border of those attempting to cross into the United States from Mexico illegally and vice versa. [80]

Undocumented labor contributes $395 billion to the economy every year. While the U.S. is in favor of immigration, the increase in undocumented immigration has given border-crossing a negative image. There are around 11.5 million undocumented workers in the U.S. today, and 87% of undocumented immigrants have been living in the U.S. for more than 7 years. [73] Local economies that develop on the Mexican side capitalize not only on available skills but also on available, usually discarded, materials. Small businesses trade in clothes that are purchased by the pound and cardboard from the United States. Some items, like the used tires found everywhere along the border, are made into certain items that support local economies and define a border. [74]

The Secure Fence Act of 2006 was passed providing for the construction of 700 miles (1,127 km) of high-security fencing. Attempts to complete the construction of the Mexico–United States barrier have been challenged by the Mexican government and various U.S.–based organizations.

In January, 2013, the Government Accountability Office released a report stating that the United States Border Patrol intercepted 61% of individuals illegally crossing the border in 2011, which translates to 208,813 individuals not apprehended. [81] 85,827 of the 208,813 would go on to illegally enter the United States, while the rest returned to Mexico and other Central American countries. [81] The report also shows that the number of illegal border crossings has dropped. [81]

The apprehensions per (fiscal) year are shown in the graph they reached a maximum of over 1.643 million in the year 2000. [82] Similar numbers had been reached in 1986 with over 1.615 million. Since 2010, the numbers have consistently remained beneath half a million. [82]

The increase of border security throughout the years has progressively made crossings at the United States-Mexico border more dangerous, which has developed a human rights crisis at the border. The number of migrant deaths occurring along the United States-Mexico border has dramatically increased since the implementation of the funnel effect. [83] Along the Arizona-Mexico border, only seven migrant deaths were recorded in 1996 however, the remains of over 2,000 migrants were discovered from 2001 to 2012. Since the majority of deaths occur in rural areas, where extreme temperatures are common, it is likely the number of recorded deaths are far below the total. Because of the harsh, inaccessible terrain, human remains may not be found for years or ever. [84]

The Human Rights Watch cited on April 22, 2020, that a United States-Mexico border shutdown could be expected following the COVID-19 public health emergency. According to HRW, the new rule introduced by the CDC overlooks the fact that the U.S. is obligated to protect refugees from return to conditions threatening prosecution, as per treaties. [85]

Barrier Edit

The U.S. government had plans in 2006, during the Bush administration, to erect a border fence along the Mexico–U.S. border. The controversial proposal included creating many individual fences. Almost 600 miles (966 km) of fence were constructed, with each of the individual fences composed of steel and concrete. [75] In between these fences are infrared cameras and sensors, National Guard soldiers, and SWAT teams on alert, giving rise to the term "virtual fence". [75] Construction on the fence began in 2006, with each mile costing the U.S. government about $2.8 million. [34] In 2010, the initiative was terminated because of costs, after having completed 640 miles (1,030 km) of either barrier fence or vehicle barriers, that were either new or had been rebuilt over older, inferior fencing. The Boeing-built SBI-net systems of using radar, watchtowers, and sensors (without a fence or physical barrier) were scrapped for being over budget, full of glitches, and far behind schedule. [86]

The U.S.–Mexico border fence near El Paso, Texas.

Portion of border near Jacumba, California, in 2003.

Portion of border near Jacumba, California, in 2009 with enhanced security.

Border incursions Edit

According to the U.S. Border Patrol, apprehensions of Central Americans at the border reduced from 70,000 to 55,000 attempted illegal migrants from 2007 to 2011. Thereafter, the number of apprehensions increased dramatically to 95,000 in 2012, 150,000 in 2013 and 220,000 in 2014. The increased apprehensions could have been the result of improved border security or a dramatic rise in attempted crossings, or both. [87]

In the fiscal year of 2006, there were 29 confirmed border incursions by Mexican government officials, of which 17 were by armed individuals. Since 1996, there have been 253 incursions by Mexican government officials. [88] [89] [90] In 2014 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security informed California Representative Duncan D. Hunter that since 2004, there have been 300 documented border incursions, which resulted in 131 individuals being detained. [91]

On August 3, 2008, Mexican military personnel crossed into Arizona from Mexico and encountered a U.S. Border Patrol agent, whom they held at gunpoint. The soldiers later returned to Mexico, as backup Border Patrol agents came to investigate. [92]

Disagreements over need for more resources Edit

Proponents of greater spending on the border argue that continuing the buildup is necessary because of increased violence and drug trafficking from Mexico spilling into the United States. [93] However, critics such as the Washington Office on Latin America have argued that the diminishing number of border crossings can only be partially attributed to U.S. security measures. Unintentional factors, such as a weakened U.S. economy in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the Mexican drug war have made attempting illegal border crossings more risky and less rewarding. [94]

In 2019, there have been humanitarian crises on the border because of lack of resources. Migrant children have specifically been affected. [95] Democratic members of the House of Representatives introduced legislation that would aid the humanitarian crisis by giving $4.5 billion to emergency spending to address the humanitarian crisis at the border, with significant funding for priorities including legal assistance, food, water, and medical services, support services for unaccompanied children, alternatives to detention, and refugee services. [96]

Trump administration Edit

In 2016, Republican nominee for president Donald Trump proposed building a border wall to control immigration. He declared that, as president, he would force Mexico to pay all costs. [97] [98] On January 25, 2017, several days after his inauguration and two days in advance of a planned meeting in Washington, D.C., with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, President Trump signed Executive Order 13767 to enable the building of the wall [99] Peña Nieto denied that Mexico would pay for the wall and declined the meeting. [100] Shortly after, Trump announced that he intended to impose a 20% tariff on Mexican goods. [101] (Mexico did not make any payments. Tariffs increase the price of goods resulting in a tax paid by the consumer.) [102]

On September 20, 2017, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit alleging that the Trump administration has overstepped its powers in expediting construction of a border wall. [103] [104] As of the end of 2017, Mexico had not agreed to pay any amount toward the wall, no new tariffs on Mexican goods had been considered by the U.S. Congress, [105] the U.S. Congress had not appropriated funding for a wall, and no further wall construction had started beyond what was already planned during the Obama administration. [105]

In June 2018, the Trump administration established a new policy of separating parents from their children at the Mexican border. People asking for asylum at official ports of entry were "being turned away and told there’s no room for them now." [106] The U.S. and Mexico mutually placed tariffs on each other's exports. [107]

On November 8, 2018, the Trump administration announced new rules to deny asylum to anyone who crosses into the United States illegally from any nation, at Trump's discretion. This was based on the Supreme Court decision of Trump v. Hawaii and the presidential powers of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. [108] Trump signed a proclamation the next day to specify that people crossing the Mexican border illegally would not qualify for asylum he called the march of migrants from Central America towards the United States a "crisis". [109] Civil rights groups strongly criticized the move, and several groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to challenge the proclamation. [109] Judge Jon S. Tigar ruled in favor of the advocacy groups on November 20, 2018, placing an injunction on the administration to delay implementation of the rule. [110] The administration appealed to the Ninth Circuit, where a divided 2-1 panel ruled that the new asylum rules were inconsistent with existing law and upheld the injunction. [111] On December 21, 2018, the Supreme Court declined to hear the administration's challenge, leaving the injunction in place and preventing the asylum ban from being enforced. [112]

During the 2018 fiscal year, U.S. border agents arrested 107,212 people traveling in families, a record-high number. During the following five months (October 2018 through February 2019), that record was shattered by the arrest of 136,150 people traveling in families. [113] On March 31, 2019, Trump threatened to close the border, cutting off trade between the countries. [114] On April 4, Trump said that instead he would give Mexico a year to stop illegal drugs from coming into the United States. If this did not happen, he said tariffs on automobiles would be used first, and then closing of the border. [115]

Proposed wall Edit

While running for president, Trump claimed that a border wall would cost $8 to $12 billion [116] and that he could force Mexico to pay for it. Actual cost estimates of the proposed wall vary widely. In early 2017, shortly after Trump took office, the Department of Homeland Security estimated the cost at $22 billion, [117] while Democratic staff on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee estimated $70 billion to build the wall and $150 million in annual maintenance. [118] Significant cost overruns and missed deadlines are common in government projects in recent U.S. history, see, for example, the Big Dig and the Boeing Dreamliner.

In the summer of 2017, four major construction companies planned to bid for the contract. The Customs and Border Protection agency budgeted $20 million to hire these companies to build half-million-dollar prototypes of the wall. At this time, Congress had only approved $341 million to maintain the existing wall no funds had been allocated to build new sections of wall. [119] The Department of Homeland Security recommended that the wall's height should be between 18 and 30 ft (5.5 and 9.1 m) and its depth should be up to 6 ft (1.8 m) to deter drug traffickers from building tunnels. [120]

Humanitarian assistance along the border Edit

Humanitarian groups such as Humane Borders, No More Deaths, and Samaritans provide water in order to reduce deaths of immigrants who are journeying through the Arizona desert. [121] A policy passed in 2010 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife federal agency allows water drums to be placed on roads of disturbed areas. [121]

No More Deaths (No Más Muertes) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that is headquartered in Tucson that is designed to assist in ending death and suffering of immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border by upholding fundamental human rights. Elemental services of No More Deaths is to provide humanitarian assistance, giving food and first aid treatment, witness and respond to human rights abuses, encouraging humane immigration policy, and making phone calls to relatives of immigrants. [122] Since its founding in 2004, No More Deaths has provided assistance to thousands of migrant border crossers however the Border Patrol and other public land agencies near the U.S.-Mexico border have challenged the efforts of various humanitarian groups, by following immigrants to a medical volunteer camp and raiding it. [123] Humanitarian groups along the border have been tested by Border Patrol and other agencies, however the authority of the Trump administration has introduced a new tier of restriction through surveillance, harassment, and intimidation to border relief efforts. [124]

Incidence rates of HIV and tuberculosis are higher in border towns such as El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juárez, Sonora than at the national level in both countries. The Nuestra Casa Initiative tried to counter the health disparities by using a cross-border strategy that moved around an exhibit prominent in various museums and universities. [125] [126] Similarly, special action groups as part of the Border Health Strategic Initiative created by the University of Arizona with other groups helped create a healthier Hispanic community in Arizona border towns by creating policy and infrastructure changes. [127] These groups provided humanitarian assistance to counter the prominence of Type 2 diabetes among the Hispanic community by acquiring a grant for new walking trails and encouraging public elementary schools to provide healthier food choices for students. [127]

Immigrants are considered easy targets by gang members, because they do not have the strength to resist aggressive offenders and end up left with nothing. In June 2018, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions disqualified victims of gangs or domestic violence to be reasonable causes for asylum seekers. [128]

Not only do these Hispanic communities face health inequalities, but political inequalities as well. [129] The need for political change was so huge that it has encouraged Hispanic women to engage in activism at a local level. The Neighborhood Action Group in Chula Vista, California is one of the groups of the attracted the help of local Hispanic women to implement a feminist perspective in activism in spite of the social and economic obstacles as well as Assembly Bill No. 775, 2005 that prohibited children being used as interpreters. [130] These humanitarian groups have implemented various strategies to pursue their goals that ultimately try to counter the number of immigrant deaths and abuses in immigrant detention even if it means the criminalization and higher levels of discrimination against them. [131]

In Mexico, most humanitarian groups focus on assisting the deportees. As rates of deportation increase, “the deportation of many individuals is becoming more and more notable” in the streets of Mexico cities. [132] As a result, many humanitarian groups have formed in Mexico cities where undocumented individuals are deported such as Nogales. The humanitarian groups consist of faith-based communities and primarily non-profit organizations that assist deportees, many of whom do not have any resources with them such as money, food, or family information, and who would otherwise become homeless and emotionally and psychologically devastated. [133] [134] Contributing factors that might have caused them to be devastated can either be that they were separated from "their family members or the inability to work legally in the United States". [135] Therefore, the primary purpose of the humanitarian groups on the Mexico side of the border is to create a pathway for transitional support such as providing the deportees food, shelter, clothing, legal help and social services. [132] In addition, there are humanitarian groups that provides meals and shelter to deportees according to their deportation documents. Humanitarian groups along the border in Mexico are El Comedor, Nazareth House, Camino Juntos, La 72, and FM4: Paso Libre.

In June 2019, 300 migrant children were moved from a detention facility in Clint, Texas, after a group of lawyers who visited reported unsafe and unsanitary conditions. [95] In the same month, the body of Óscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, were found dead in Rio Grande River. The family was from El Salvador, attempting to cross from Mexico into Texas near Brownsville. [136] Gaining attention from the media, the House passed a bill, appropriating $4.5 billion for resources at the border. [137]

Per the La Paz Agreement, [138] the official "border area" extends 100 kilometers (62 mi) "on either side of the inland and maritime boundaries" from the Gulf of Mexico west into the Pacific Ocean. There is also a 100-mile border zone.

Secure Border Initiative Edit

A National Border Patrol Strategic Plan was first developed in 1994 it was then updated in 2004 and 2012. In 2004, the updated strategy focused on command structures, intelligence and surveillance, enforcement and deployment of U.S. Border Patrol agents to better respond to threats at the border. The strategic planning led to broader policy development for the Department of Homeland Security which led to the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) in 2005 to secure U.S. borders and reduce illegal migration. The main components of SBI dealt with staffing concerns, removal capacity, surveillance and tactical infrastructure and interior enforcement. [139] An additional component was “high consequence enforcement”, which was not the subject of a formal public policy document. There was the allowance, historically, for voluntary returns of individuals apprehended at the border by Border Patrol agents. These voluntary returns, after the SBI of 2005, were limited to three “high consequence outcomes”. [139]

One "high consequence outcome" was formal removal, which meant the individual would be deemed ineligible for a visa for at least five years and subject to criminal charges if caught re-entering illegally. The Immigration and Nationality Act permitted aliens to be formally removed with “limited judicial processing” known as expedited removal. The Department of Homeland Security has expanded between 2002 and 2006, expedited removal for “certain aliens that entered within previous two weeks and were apprehended within 100 miles (161 km) of the border”. [139]

Another “high consequence outcome” is the increase in criminal charges. Department of Homeland Security has also worked with the Department of Justice to increase the number of apprehended individuals crossing the border illegally who are charged with criminal offenses. Most of these cases are prosecuted under Operation Streamline. [139] The third “high consequence outcome” is known as remote repatriation. This is the return of apprehended Mexicans to remote locations by Border Patrol rather than the nearest Mexican port of entry. [139]

100-mile border zone Edit

The United States has established a 100-mile (161 km) border zone which applies to all U.S. external borders including all coasts, in effect covering two-thirds of the U.S. population, [140] including a majority of the largest cities in the U.S. and several entire states (namely Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Rhode Island). [141] The border zone was established by the U.S. Department of Justice in its interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. [141] Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to stop and search within this zone and are authorized to enter private property without a warrant within 25 miles (40 km) of the border as well as establish checkpoints. [141] [142]

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects against unreasonable search and seizure. However, under the border search exception, this protection does not fully apply at borders or border crossings (also known as ports of entry) or in the border zone. This means that much of the U.S. population is subject to CBP regulations including stop and search. There are some limits to CBP officials’ ability to stop and search. For instance CBP officials are not allowed to pull anyone over without a reasonable suspicion of immigration violation or crime, or search vehicles without warrant or probable cause. [141] The ACLU, however, found that CBP officials routinely ignore or misunderstand the limits of authority, and this is compounded by inadequate training, lack of oversight and failure to hold officials accountable for abuse—incidence of abuse is common. [141]

Operation Streamline Edit

Operation Streamline refers collectively to zero-tolerance policies implemented at the Mexico–U.S. border that seek to remove undocumented immigrants through an expedited process if they have arrived with missing or fraudulent identification or have previously been convicted for an immigration crime. [143] It was first implemented in Del Rio, Texas, in 2005. [144] The program has since expanded to four out of the five federal judicial districts on the U.S.–Mexico border: Yuma, Arizona Laredo, Texas Tucson, Arizona and Rio Grande Valley, Texas. [143] [145]

Previously, immigrants apprehended at the border were either given the option to voluntarily return to their home country or they were placed in civil immigration proceedings. [143] After Operation Streamline was implemented, nearly all people apprehended at the border who are suspected of having crossed illegally are subject to criminal prosecution. [145] Defendants who are charged with crossing into the U.S. illegally are tried en masse to determine their guilt. [144] Defense attorneys often are responsible for representing up to 40 immigrants at once. [144] Around 99% of defendants in Operation Streamline proceedings plead guilty. [143] The defendants are charged with a misdemeanor if convicted of crossing the border illegally for the first time and a felony if it is a repeat offense. [144]

In December, 2009, it was decided in United States v. Roblero-Solis that en masse judicial proceedings like those in Operation Streamline violated Rule 11 in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 11 states that the court must determine that a guilty plea is voluntarily made by addressing the defendant personally in court. The Roblero-Solis case determined that “personally” means that the judge must address the defendant in a person-to-person manner. Though many courts have changed their procedures to adapt to the ruling, there are still forms of en masse trials practiced at the border. [144]

Proponents of Operation Streamline claim that the harsher prosecution has been an important factor in deterring immigrants from crossing the border illegally. Apprehensions have decreased in certain sectors after 2005, which is seen as a sign of success. For example, the Del Rio sector saw a decline from 2005 to 2009 of 75% (from 68,510 to 17,082). Similarly, apprehensions declined in Yuma by 95% (from 138,438 to 6,951) from 2006 to 2009. [145]

Criticisms of Operation Streamline point to the program's heavy use of federal court and enforcement resources as a negative aspect. [145] In addition, the prosecution of all illegal border crossings takes the focus away from prosecuting more serious crimes. [145] They claim that the program's cost is too high for the effectiveness of the work it is accomplishing. [144] In response to the claim that Operation Streamline is an effective deterrent, critics of the program claim that the incentives to cross the border in order to work or be with family are much stronger. [144]

The Agreement on Cooperation for the Protection and Improvement of the Environment in the Border Area, known as the La Paz Agreement, was signed into law on August 14, 1983, and became enforceable on February 16, 1984. [146] This agreement to protect the environment is the political foundation between the U.S. and Mexico for 4 subsequent programs. Each program has addressed environmental destruction in the border region resulting from the rise of the maquiladora industries, those who migrated to northern Mexico to work in the industries, the lack of infrastructure to accommodate the people, Mexico's lax regulations concerning all these factors, the resulting spillover into the U.S., and the U.S.'s own environmentally destructive tendencies. The programs were: IBEP (1992), Border XXI (1996), Border 2012 (2003) and Border 2020 (2012). [147]

In 2006, during the presidency of George W. Bush, Congress approved Secure Fence Act which allowed the Department of Homeland Security to erect a border fence along the United States and Mexico border. Congress also approved a different law called the REAL ID Act which gave the Department of Homeland Security the approval to build the wall without taking into consideration the environmental and legal issues related to the wall. The United States Congress insisted that the act was passed for the sake of national security of the United States. [148]

According to a delegation of Arizona park and refuge managers, wildlife biologists, and conservationists who studied the United States and Mexico border concluded that building a wall along the Mexico border would also have negative impacts on the natural environment in the region. They argued that the border wall would negatively affect the wildlife in the Sonoran Desert including plants and animals. Naturally, animals do not tend to stay in one place and instead, they expedite to various places for water, plants, and other means in order to survive. The wall would restrict animals to a specific territory and would reduce their chances of survival. According to Brian Segee, a staff attorney with Wildlife Activists says that except high flying birds, animals would not be able to move to other places because of the wall along the border. For instance, participants in this study argued that some species such as javelinas, ocelots, and Sonoran pronghorn would not be able to freely move along the border areas. It would also restrict the movement of jaguars from Sierra Madre occidental forests to the southwestern parts of the United States. According to Brian Nowicki, a conservation biologist at the Center for Biological Diversity, there are 30 animal species living in the Arizona and Sonora that face danger. [148]

Many schools near the border in America have students that live on the Mexican side of the border. These students are "transborder students", as they live in Mexico but are enrolled in the United States education system. There are thousands of elementary through high school students that cross the Mexican-American border. They are known to wake up in the early hours of the morning to make their way to the border, where they wait in long lines to cross into the United States. After crossing the border, the students find a ride to school. Many students come to America for the opportunity, because it has a more developed and organized educational system. Students who go to school in America have a better chance of reaching higher education in the U.S. In many parts of Mexico, compulsory education ends at age sixteen. Many of the transborder students are natural-born U.S. citizens. Students that were born in America have the right to American education, even if they do not live in the United States. In places like the San Diego and Tijuana border, it is much cheaper to live in Mexico. San Diego has a high cost of living and one of the highest student homeless rates in the country, so many families move to Tijuana because it is more affordable to raise a family.

In order to prevent Mexican children from illegally coming to America for education, some bordertown schools require official documentation (bills, mail, etc.) from students. This is to ensure that only students that are entitled to an education in the United States receive one.

In Brownsville, a city on the southern border of Texas, a court ruled that school districts cannot deny students education if they have the proper paperwork. Many transborder students who live in these districts with these requirements will use extended family members’ addresses to prove their residency. Questions about the legitimacy of student residency have risen since the Trump administration took office in 2017, making it riskier to cross the border for education.

How Must America Balance Security and Liberty

The United States was born into war with the Declaration of Independence, the most important statement of liberty and natural rights ever made. Since then, America has been the world’s freest country and has become its most secure, with a military equal to any threat. America has avoided the fate of nations that have traded freedoms for promises of security, or security for unlimited freedom, and achieved neither. Yet the healthy fear that one or the other will disappear has been present in every era since the Founding. How must America balance security and civil liberties?

Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 stamp required for legal import and export of the drug.

By the 1930s, several state governments and other countries had banned the drug. The U.S. government hesitated, in part because therapeutic uses of Cannabis were still being explored and American industry profited from commercial applications of hemp fiber, seeds and oil.

Marijuana was not classed as a major drug-unlike opium and heroin, which were prohibited under the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914 and subsequent restrictive legislation. As the political climate changed, Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner Harry Anslinger became a powerful anti-marijuana voice. His campaign against Cannabis led to the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, under which the importation, cultivation, possession and/or distribution of marijuana were regulated.

Among the act's provisions was one requiring importers to register and pay an annual tax of $24. A Marihuana Tax Act stamp, affixed to each original order form and marked by the revenue collector, insured that proper payments were made. The customs collector maintained custody of imported marijuana at the port of entry until required documents were received, with similar regulations governing marijuana exports. Shipments were subject to searches, seizures and forfeitures if any provisions of the law were not met. Violation of the act resulted in a fine of not more than $2,000 and/or imprisonment for up to five years.

In principle, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 stopped only the use of the plant as a recreational drug. In practice, though, industrial hemp was caught up in anti-dope legislation, making hemp importation and commercial production in this country less economical. Scientific research and medical testing of marijuana also virtually disappeared. By 1970, marijuana was classified and restricted on par with narcotics and new, tighter laws were enacted. Changes have occurred over the last 40 years. As of January 2012, 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, though this is still not permitted under federal regulations.

Just prior to the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, the Customs Agency Service compiled a Narcotics Manual that reported: "Marihuana may be cultivated or grown wild in almost any locality. Inasmuch as this drug is so readily obtained in the United States, it is not believed to be the subject of much organized smuggling from other countries." Today, however, marijuana trafficking is a major concern of CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Well over 3 million pounds of "pot" were confiscated at our borders in 2011, making an impact on this multibillion-dollar illegal enterprise.


Colonial wars Edit

Before the British conquest of French Canada in 1760, there had been a series of wars between the British and the French which were fought out in the colonies as well as in Europe and the high seas. In general, the British heavily relied on American colonial militia units, while the French heavily relied on their First Nation allies. The Iroquois Nation were important allies of the British. [14] Much of the fighting involved ambushes and small-scale warfare in the villages along the border between New England and Quebec. The New England colonies had a much larger population than Quebec, so major invasions came from south to north. The First Nation allies, only loosely controlled by the French, repeatedly raided New England villages to kidnap women and children, and torture and kill the men. [15] Those who survived were brought up as Francophone Catholics. The tension along the border was exacerbated by religion, the French Catholics and English Protestants had a deep mutual distrust. [16] There was a naval dimension as well, involving privateers attacking enemy merchant ships. [17]

England seized Quebec from 1629 to 1632, and Acadia in 1613 and again from 1654 to 1670 These territories were returned to France by the peace treaties. The major wars were (to use American names), King William's War (1689–1697) Queen Anne's War (1702–1713) King George's War (1744–1748), and the French and Indian War (1755–1763). In Canada, as in Europe, this era is known as the Seven Years' War.

New England soldiers and sailors were critical to the successful British campaign to capture the French fortress of Louisbourg in 1745, [18] and (after it had been returned by treaty) to capture it again in 1758. [19]

American Revolutionary War Edit

At the outset of the American Revolutionary War, the American revolutionaries hoped the French Canadians in Quebec and the Colonists in Nova Scotia would join their rebellion and they were pre-approved for joining the United States in the Articles of Confederation. When Canada was invaded, thousands joined the American cause and formed regiments that fought during the war however most remained neutral and some joined the British effort. Britain advised the French Canadians that the British Empire already enshrined their rights in the Quebec Act, which the American colonies had viewed as one of the Intolerable Acts. The American invasion was a fiasco and Britain tightened its grip on its northern possessions in 1777, a major British invasion into New York led to the surrender of the entire British army at Saratoga, and led France to enter the war as an ally of the U.S. The French Canadians largely ignored France's appeals for solidarity. [20] After the war Canada became a refuge for about 75,000 Loyalists who either wanted to leave the U.S., or were compelled by Patriot reprisals to do so. [21]

Among the original Loyalists there were 3,500 free African Americans. Most went to Nova Scotia and in 1792, 1200 migrated to Sierra Leone. About 2000 black slaves were brought in by Loyalist owners they remained slaves in Canada until the Empire abolished slavery in 1833. Before 1860, about 30,000–40,000 black people entered Canada many were already free and others were escaped slaves who came through the Underground Railroad. [22]

War of 1812 Edit

The Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, called for British forces to vacate all their forts south of the Great Lakes border. Britain refused to do so, citing failure of the United States to provide financial restitution for Loyalists who had lost property in the war. The Jay Treaty in 1795 with Great Britain resolved that lingering issue and the British departed the forts. Thomas Jefferson saw the nearby British presence as a threat to the United States, and so he opposed the Jay Treaty, and it became one of the major political issues in the United States at the time. [23] Thousands of Americans immigrated to Upper Canada (Ontario) from 1785 to 1812 to obtain cheaper land and better tax rates prevalent in that province despite expectations that they would be loyal to the U.S. if a war broke out, in the event they were largely non-political. [24]

Tensions mounted again after 1805, erupting into the War of 1812, when the United States declared war on Britain. The Americans were angered by British harassment of U.S. ships on the high seas and seizure of 6,000 sailors from American ships, severe restrictions against neutral American trade with France, and British support for hostile Native American tribes in Ohio and territories the U.S. had gained in 1783. American "honor" was an implicit issue. While the Americans could not hope to defeat the Royal Navy and control the seas, they could call on an army much larger than the British garrison in Canada, and so a land invasion of Canada was proposed as the most advantageous means of attacking the British Empire. Americans on the western frontier also hoped an invasion would bring an end to British support of Native American resistance to American expansion, typified by Tecumseh's coalition of tribes. [25] Americans may also have wanted to acquire Canada. [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33]

Once war broke out, the American strategy was to seize Canada. There was some hope that settlers in western Canada—most of them recent immigrants from the U.S.—would welcome the chance to overthrow their British rulers. However, the American invasions were defeated primarily by British regulars with support from Native Americans and Upper Canada militia. Aided by the large Royal Navy, a series of British raids on the American coast were highly successful, culminating with an attack on Washington that resulted in the British burning of the White House, the Capitol, and other public buildings. However, the later battles of Baltimore, Plattsburg, and New Orleans all ended in defeat for the British. At the end of the war, Britain's American Indian allies had largely been defeated, and the Americans controlled a strip of Western Ontario centered on Fort Malden. However, Britain held much of Maine, and, with the support of their remaining American Indian allies, huge areas of the Old Northwest, including Wisconsin and much of Michigan and Illinois. With the surrender of Napoleon in 1814, Britain ended naval policies that angered Americans with the defeat of the Indian tribes the threat to American expansion was ended. The upshot was both the United States and Canada asserted their sovereignty, Canada remained under British rule, and London and Washington had nothing more to fight over. The war was ended by the Treaty of Ghent, which took effect in February 1815. [34] A series of postwar agreements further stabilized peaceful relations along the Canadian-US border. Canada reduced American immigration for fear of undue American influence, and built up the Anglican Church of Canada as a counterweight to the largely American Methodist and Baptist churches. [35]

In later years, Anglophone Canadians, especially in Ontario, viewed the War of 1812 as a heroic and successful resistance against invasion and as a victory that defined them as a people. The myth that the Canadian militia had defeated the invasion almost single-handed, known logically as the "militia myth", became highly prevalent after the war, having been propounded by John Strachan, Anglican Bishop of York. Meanwhile, the United States celebrated victory in its "Second War of Independence," and war heroes such as Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison headed to the White House. [36]

Post War of 1812 and mid-19th century Edit

In the aftermath of the War of 1812, pro-British conservatives led by Anglican Bishop John Strachan took control in Ontario ("Upper Canada"), and promoted the Anglican religion as opposed to the more republican Methodist and Baptist churches. A small interlocking elite, known as the Family Compact took full political control. Democracy, as practiced in the US, was ridiculed. The policies had the desired effect of deterring immigration from United States. Revolts in favor of democracy in Ontario and Quebec ("Lower Canada") in 1837 were suppressed many of the leaders fled to the US. [37] The American policy was to largely ignore the rebellions, [38] and indeed ignore Canada generally in favor of westward expansion of the American Frontier.

American Civil War Edit

The British Empire and Canada were neutral in the American Civil War, and about 40,000 Canadian citizens volunteered for the Union Army—many already lived in the U.S., and a few for the Confederate Army. [39] However, hundreds of Americans who were called up in the draft fled to Canada. [40] In 1864, the Confederate government tried to use Canada as a base to attack American border towns. They raided the town St. Albans, Vermont on October 19, 1864, killing an American citizen and robbing three banks of over US$200,000. The three Confederates escaped to Canada where they were arrested, but then released. Many Americans suspected – falsely – that the Canadian government knew of the raid ahead of time. There was widespread anger when the raiders were released by a local court in Canada. [41] The American Secretary of State William H. Seward let the British government know, "it is impossible to consider those proceedings as either legal, just or friendly towards the United States." [42]

Alabama claims Edit

Americans were angry at the British role during the American Civil War. Some leaders demanded for a huge payment, on the premise that British involvement had lengthened the war. Senator Charles Sumner, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, originally wanted to ask for $2 billion, or alternatively the ceding of all of Canada to the United States. [43] [44]

When American Secretary of State William H. Seward negotiated the Alaska Purchase with Russia in 1867, he intended it as the first step in a comprehensive plan to gain control of the entire northwest Pacific Coast. Seward was a firm believer in Manifest Destiny, primarily for its commercial advantages to the U.S., Seward expected British Columbia to seek annexation to the U.S. and thought Britain might accept this in exchange for the Alabama claims. Soon other elements endorsed annexation, Their plan was to annex British Columbia, Red River Colony (Manitoba), and Nova Scotia, in exchange for dropping the damage claims. The idea reached a peak in the spring and summer of 1870, with American expansionists, Canadian separatists, and Pro-American Englishmen seemingly combining forces. The plan was dropped for multiple reasons. London continued to stall, American commercial and financial groups pressed Washington for a quick settlement of the dispute on a cash basis, growing Canadian nationalist sentiment in British Columbia called for staying inside the British Empire, Congress became preoccupied with Reconstruction, and most Americans showed little interest in territorial expansion. The "Alabama Claims" dispute went to international arbitration. In one of the first major cases of arbitration, the tribunal in 1872 supported the American claims and ordered Britain to pay $15.5 million. Britain paid and the episode ended in peaceful relations. [45] [46]

Late 19th century Edit

Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 in internal affairs while Britain controlled diplomacy and defence policy. Prior to Confederation, there was an Oregon boundary dispute in which the Americans claimed the 54th degree latitude. That issue was resolved by splitting the disputed territory the northern half became British Columbia, and the southern half the states of Washington and Oregon.

Strained relations with America continued, however, due to a series of small-scale armed incursions named the Fenian raids by Irish-American Civil War veterans across the border from 1866 to 1871 in an attempt to trade Canada for Irish independence. [47] The American government, angry at Canadian tolerance of Confederate raiders during the American Civil War, moved very slowly to disarm the Fenians. [48] The Fenian raids were small-scale attacks carried out by the Fenian Brotherhood, an Irish Republican organization based among Irish Catholics in the United States. Targets were British Army forts, customs posts and other locations near the border. The raids were small, unsuccessful episodes in 1866, and again from 1870 to 1871. The goal was to bring pressure on Great Britain to withdraw from Ireland. None of these raids achieved their aims and all were quickly defeated by local Canadian forces. [49]

The British government, in charge of diplomatic relations, protested cautiously, as Anglo-American relations were tense. Much of the tension was relieved as the Fenians faded away and in 1872 by the settlement of the Alabama Claims, when Britain paid the U.S. $15.5 million for war losses caused by warships built in Britain and sold to the Confederacy.

Disputes over ocean boundaries on Georges Bank and over fishing, whaling, and sealing rights in the Pacific were settled by international arbitration, setting an important precedent. [50]

Early 20th century Edit

Alaska boundary Edit

A short-lived controversy was the Alaska boundary dispute, settled in favor of the United States in 1903. The issue was unimportant until the Klondike Gold Rush brought tens of thousands of men to Canada's Yukon, and they had to arrive through American ports. Canada needed its port and claimed that it had a legal right to a port near the present American town of Haines, Alaska. It would provide an all-Canadian route to the rich goldfields. The dispute was settled by arbitration, and the British delegate voted with the Americans—to the astonishment and disgust of Canadians who suddenly realized that Britain considered its relations with the United States paramount compared to those with Canada. The arbitration validated the status quo, but made Canada angry at London. [51] [52]

1907 saw a minor controversy over USS Nashville sailing into the Great Lakes via Canada without Canadian permission. To head off future embarrassments, in 1909 the two sides signed the International Boundary Waters Treaty and the International Joint Commission was established to manage the Great Lakes and keep them disarmed. It was amended in World War II to allow the building and training of warships. [53]

Free trade Edit

Anti-Americanism reached a shrill peak in 1911 in Canada. [54] The Liberal government in 1911 negotiated a Reciprocity treaty with the U.S. that would lower trade barriers. Canadian manufacturing interests were alarmed that free trade would allow the bigger and more efficient American factories to take their markets. The Conservatives made it a central campaign issue in the 1911 election, warning that it would be a "sell out" to the United States with economic annexation a special danger. [55] The Conservative slogan was "No truck or trade with the Yankees", as they appealed to Canadian nationalism and nostalgia for the British Empire to win a major victory. [56] [57]

Post-First World War Edit

Canada demanded and received permission from London to send its own delegation to the Versailles Peace Talks in 1919, with the proviso that it sign the treaty under the British Empire. Canada subsequently took responsibility for its own foreign and military affairs in the 1920s. Its first ambassador to the United States, Vincent Massey, was named in 1927. The United States first ambassador to Canada was William Phillips. Canada became an active member of the British Commonwealth, the League of Nations, and the World Court, none of which included the U.S.

In July 1923, as part of his Pacific Northwest tour and a week before his death, US President Warren Harding visited Vancouver, making him the first head of state of the United States to visit confederated Canada. The then Premier of British Columbia, John Oliver, and then mayor of Vancouver, Charles Tisdall, hosted a lunch in his honor at the Hotel Vancouver. Over 50,000 people heard Harding speak in Stanley Park. A monument to Harding designed by Charles Marega was unveiled in Stanley Park in 1925. [58]

Relations with the United States were cordial until 1930, when Canada vehemently protested the new Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act by which the U.S. raised tariffs (taxes) on products imported from Canada. Canada retaliated with higher tariffs of its own against American products, and moved toward more trade within the British Commonwealth. U.S.–Canadian trade fell 75% as the Great Depression dragged both countries down. [59] [60]

Down to the 1920s the war and naval departments of both nations designed hypothetical war game scenarios on paper with the other as an enemy. These were routine training exercises the departments were never told to get ready for a real war. In 1921, Canada developed Defence Scheme No. 1 for an attack on American cities and for forestalling invasion by the United States until British reinforcements arrived. Through the later 1920s and 1930s, the United States Army War College developed a plan for a war with the British Empire waged largely on North American territory, in War Plan Red. [61]

Herbert Hoover meeting in 1927 with British Ambassador Sir Esme Howard agreed on the "absurdity of contemplating the possibility of war between the United States and the British Empire." [62]

In 1938, as the roots of World War II were set in motion, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt gave a public speech at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, declaring that the United States would not sit idly by if another power tried to dominate Canada. Diplomats saw it as a clear warning to Germany not to attack Canada. [63]

Second World War Edit

The two nations cooperated closely in World War II, [64] as both nations saw new levels of prosperity and a determination to defeat the Axis powers. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and President Franklin D. Roosevelt were determined not to repeat the mistakes of their predecessors. [65] They met in August 1940 at Ogdensburg, issuing a declaration calling for close cooperation, and formed the Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD).

King sought to raise Canada's international visibility by hosting the August 1943 Quadrant conference in Quebec on military and political strategy he was a gracious host but was kept out of the important meetings by Winston Churchill and Roosevelt.

Canada allowed the construction of the Alaska Highway and participated in the building of the atomic bomb. 49,000 Americans joined the RCAF (Canadian) or RAF (British) air forces through the Clayton Knight Committee, which had Roosevelt's permission to recruit in the U.S. in 1940–42. [66]

American attempts in the mid-1930s to integrate British Columbia into a united West Coast military command had aroused Canadian opposition. Fearing a Japanese invasion of Canada's vulnerable British Columbia Coast, American officials urged the creation of a united military command for an eastern Pacific Ocean theater of war. Canadian leaders feared American imperialism and the loss of autonomy more than a Japanese invasion. In 1941, Canadians successfully argued within the PJBD for mutual cooperation rather than unified command for the West Coast. [67]

Newfoundland Edit

The United States built large military bases in Newfoundland during World War II. At the time it was a British crown colony, having lost dominion status. The American spending ended the depression and brought new prosperity Newfoundland's business community sought closer ties with the United States as expressed by the Economic Union Party. Ottawa took notice and wanted Newfoundland to join Canada, which it did after hotly contested referenda. There was little demand in the United States for the acquisition of Newfoundland, so the United States did not protest the British decision not to allow an American option on the Newfoundland referendum. [68]

Cold War Edit

Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, working closely with his Foreign Minister Louis St. Laurent, handled foreign relations 1945–48 in cautious fashion. Canada donated money to the United Kingdom to help it rebuild was elected to the UN Security Council and helped design NATO. However, Mackenzie King rejected free trade with the United States, [69] and decided not to play a role in the Berlin airlift. [70] Canada had been actively involved in the League of Nations, primarily because it could act separately from Britain. It played a modest role in the postwar formation of the United Nations, as well as the International Monetary Fund. It played a somewhat larger role in 1947 in designing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. [71] After the mid-20th century onwards, Canada and the United States became extremely close partners. Canada was a close ally of the United States during the Cold War.

Vietnam War resisters Edit

While Canada openly accepted draft evaders and later deserters from the United States, there was never serious international dispute due to Canada's actions, while Sweden's acceptance was heavily criticized by the United States. The issue of accepting American exiles became a local political debate in Canada that focused on Canada's sovereignty in its immigration law. The United States did not become involved because American politicians viewed Canada as geographically close ally not worth disturbing. [72]

Nixon Shock 1971 Edit

The United States had become Canada's largest market, and after the war the Canadian economy became dependent on smooth trade flows with the United States so much that in 1971 when the United States enacted the "Nixon Shock" economic policies (including a 10% tariff on all imports) it put the Canadian government into a panic. Washington refused to exempt Canada from its 1971 New Economic Policy, so Trudeau saw a solution in closer economic ties with Europe. Trudeau proposed a "Third Option" policy of diversifying Canada's trade and downgrading the importance of the American market. In a 1972 speech in Ottawa, Nixon declared the "special relationship" between Canada and the United States dead. [73]

Relations deteriorated on many points in the Nixon years (1969–74), including trade disputes, defense agreements, energy, fishing, the environment, cultural imperialism, and foreign policy. They changed for the better when Trudeau and President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) found a better rapport. The late 1970s saw a more sympathetic American attitude toward Canadian political and economic needs, the pardoning of draft evaders who had moved to Canada, and the passing of old such as the Watergate scandal and the Vietnam War. Canada more than ever welcomed American investments during "the stagflation" that hurt both nations. [74]

1990s Edit

The main issues in Canada–U.S. relations in the 1990s focused on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed in 1994. It created a common market that by 2014 was worth $19 trillion, encompassed 470 million people, and had created millions of jobs. [75] Wilson says, "Few dispute that NAFTA has produced large and measurable gains for Canadian consumers, workers, and businesses." However, he adds, "NAFTA has fallen well short of expectations." [76]

Migration history Edit

From the 1750s to the 21st century, there has been extensive mingling of the Canadian and American populations, with large movements in both directions. [77]

New England Yankees settled large parts of Nova Scotia before 1775, and were neutral during the American Revolution. [78] At the end of the American Revolution, about 75,000 United Empire Loyalists moved out of the new United States to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the lands of Quebec, east and south of Montreal. From 1790 to 1812 many farmers moved from New York and New England into Upper Canada (mostly to Niagara, and the north shore of Lake Ontario). In the mid and late 19th century gold rushes attracted American prospectors, mostly to British Columbia after the Cariboo Gold Rush, Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, and later to the Yukon Territory. In the early 20th century, the opening of land blocks in the Prairie Provinces attracted many farmers from the American Midwest. Many Mennonites immigrated from Pennsylvania and formed their own colonies. In the 1890s some Mormons went north to form communities in Alberta after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rejected plural marriage. [79] The 1960s saw the arrival of about 50,000 draft-dodgers who opposed the Vietnam War. [80]

Canada was a way-station through which immigrants from other lands stopped for a while, ultimately heading to the U.S. In 1851–1951, 7.1 million people arrived in Canada (mostly from Continental Europe), and 6.6 million left Canada, most of them to the U.S. [81] After 1850, the pace of industrialization and urbanization was much faster in the United States, drawing a wide range of immigrants from the North. By 1870, 1/6 of all the people born in Canada had moved to the United States, with the highest concentrations in New England, which was the destination of Francophone emigrants from Quebec and Anglophone emigrants from the Maritimes. It was common for people to move back and forth across the border, such as seasonal lumberjacks, entrepreneurs looking for larger markets, and families looking for jobs in the textile mills that paid much higher wages than in Canada. [82]

The southward migration slacked off after 1890, as Canadian industry began a growth spurt. By then, the American frontier was closing, and thousands of farmers looking for fresh land moved from the United States north into the Prairie Provinces. The net result of the flows were that in 1901 there were 128,000 American-born residents in Canada (3.5% of the Canadian population) and 1.18 million Canadian-born residents in the United States (1.6% of the U.S. population). [83]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, about 900,000 French Canadians moved to the U.S., with 395,000 residents there in 1900. Two-thirds went to mill towns in New England, where they formed distinctive ethnic communities. By the late 20th century, most had abandoned the French language (see New England French), but most kept the Catholic religion. [84] [81] About twice as many English Canadians came to the U.S., but they did not form distinctive ethnic settlements. [85]

The executive of each country is represented differently. The President of the United States serves as both the head of state and head of government, and his "administration" is the executive, while the Prime Minister of Canada is head of government only, and his or her "government" or "ministry" directs the executive.

W. L. Mackenzie King and Franklin D. Roosevelt (October 1935 – April 1945) Edit

Louis St. Laurent and Harry S. Truman (November 1948 – January 1953) Edit

Prime Minister Laurent and President Truman were both anti-communist during the early years of the Cold War.

John G. Diefenbaker and John F. Kennedy (January 1961 – April 1963) Edit

Diefenbaker and Kennedy did not get along well personally. This was evident in Diefenbaker's response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, where he did not support the United States. However, Diefenbaker's Minister of Defence went behind Diefenbaker's back and did set Canada's military to high alert in order to try and appease Kennedy. [86]

Lester B. Pearson and Lyndon B. Johnson (November 1963 – April 1968) Edit

In 1965, Lester B. Pearson gave a speech in Philadelphia criticizing the US involvement in the Vietnam War. [87] This infuriated Lyndon B. Johnson, who gave him a harsh talk, saying "You don't come here and piss on my rug". [88]

Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan (September 1984 – January 1989) Edit

Relations between Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan were famously close. [89] This relationship resulted in negotiations for the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement, and the U.S.–Canada Air Quality Agreement to reduce acid-rain-causing emissions, both major policy goals of Mulroney, that would be finalized under the presidency of George H. W. Bush.

Jean Chrétien and Bill Clinton (November 1993 – January 2001) Edit

Although Jean Chrétien was wary of appearing too close to President Bill Clinton, [ citation needed ] both men had a passion for golf. During a news conference with Prime Minister Chrétien in April 1997, President Clinton quipped "I don't know if any two world leaders have played golf together more than we have, but we meant to break a record". [90] Their governments had many small trade quarrels over the Canadian content of American magazines, softwood lumber, and so on, but on the whole were quite friendly. Both leaders had run on reforming or abolishing NAFTA, but the agreement went ahead with the addition of environmental and labor side agreements. Crucially, the Clinton administration lent rhetorical support to Canadian unity during the 1995 referendum in Quebec on separation from Canada. [91]

Jean Chrétien and George W. Bush (January 2001 – December 2003) Edit

Relations between Chrétien and George W. Bush were strained throughout their overlapping times in office. After the September 11 attacks terror attacks, Jean Chrétien publicly mused that U.S. foreign policy might be part of the "root causes" of terrorism. Some Americans criticized his "smug moralism", and Chrétien's public refusal to support the 2003 Iraq war was met with negative responses in the United States, especially among conservatives. [92]

Stephen Harper and George W. Bush (February 2006 – January 2009) Edit

Stephen Harper and George W. Bush were thought to share warm personal relations and also close ties between their administrations. Because Bush was so unpopular among liberals in Canada (particularly in the media), this was underplayed by the Harper government. [93]

Shortly after being congratulated by Bush for his victory in February 2006, Harper rebuked U.S. ambassador to Canada David Wilkins for criticizing the Conservatives' plans to assert Canada's sovereignty over the Arctic Ocean waters with military force. [94]

Stephen Harper and Barack Obama (January 2009 – November 2015) Edit

President Barack Obama's first international trip was to Canada on February 19, 2009, thereby sending a strong message of peace and cooperation. [95] With the exception of Canadian lobbying against "Buy American" provisions in the U.S. stimulus package, relations between the two administrations were smooth.

They also held friendly bets on hockey games during the Winter Olympic season. In the 2010 Winter Olympics hosted by Canada in Vancouver, Canada defeated the US in both gold medal matches, entitling Stephen Harper to receive a case of Molson Canadian beer from Barack Obama in reverse, if Canada had lost, Harper would have provided a case of Yuengling beer to Obama. [96] During the 2014 Winter Olympics, alongside U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry & Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird, Stephen Harper was given a case of Samuel Adams beer by Obama for the Canadian gold medal victory over the US in women's hockey, and the semi-final victory over the US in men's hockey. [97]

Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) (2011) Edit

On February 4, 2011, Harper and Obama issued a "Declaration on a Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness" [98] [99] and announced the creation of the Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) "to increase regulatory transparency and coordination between the two countries." [100]

Health Canada and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the RCC mandate, undertook the "first of its kind" initiative by selecting "as its first area of alignment common cold indications for certain over-the-counter antihistamine ingredients (GC 2013-01-10)." [101]

On December 7, 2011, Harper flew to Washington, met with Obama and signed an agreement to implement the joint action plans that had been developed since the initial meeting in February. The plans called on both countries to spend more on border infrastructure, share more information on people who cross the border, and acknowledge more of each other's safety and security inspection on third-country traffic. An editorial in The Globe and Mail praised the agreement for giving Canada the ability to track whether failed refugee claimants have left Canada via the U.S. and for eliminating "duplicated baggage screenings on connecting flights". [102] The agreement is not a legally binding treaty, and relies on the political will and ability of the executives of both governments to implement the terms of the agreement. These types of executive agreements are routine—on both sides of the Canada–U.S. border.

Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama (November 2015 – January 2017) Edit

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first met formally at the APEC summit meeting in Manila, Philippines in November 2015, nearly a week after the latter was sworn into the office. Both leaders expressed eagerness for increased cooperation and coordination between the two countries during the course of Trudeau's government with Trudeau promising an "enhanced Canada–U.S. partnership". [103]

On November 6, 2015, Obama announced the U.S. State Department's rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the fourth phase of the Keystone oil pipeline system running between Canada and the United States, to which Trudeau expressed disappointment but said that the rejection would not damage Canada–U.S. relations and would instead provide a "fresh start" to strengthening ties through cooperation and coordination, saying that "the Canada–U.S. relationship is much bigger than any one project." [104] Obama has since praised Trudeau's efforts to prioritize the reduction of climate change, calling it "extraordinarily helpful" to establish a worldwide consensus on addressing the issue. [105]

Although Trudeau has told Obama his plans to withdraw Canada's McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet jets assisting in the American-led intervention against ISIL, Trudeau said that Canada will still "do more than its part" in combating the terrorist group by increasing the number of Canadian special forces members training and fighting on ground in Iraq and Syria. [106]

Trudeau visited the White House for an official visit and state dinner on March 10, 2016. [107] Trudeau and Obama were reported to have shared warm personal relations during the visit, making humorous remarks about which country was better at hockey and which country had better beer. [108] Obama complimented Trudeau's 2015 election campaign for its "message of hope and change" and "positive and optimistic vision". Obama and Trudeau also held "productive" discussions on climate change and relations between the two countries, and Trudeau invited Obama to speak in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa later in the year. [109]

Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump (January 2017 – January 2021) Edit

Following the victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Trudeau congratulated him and invited him to visit Canada at the "earliest opportunity." [110] Prime Minister Trudeau and President Trump formally met for the first time at the White House on February 13, 2017, nearly a month after Trump was sworn into the office. Trump has ruffled relations with Canada with tariffs on softwood lumber. [111] Diafiltered Milk was brought up by Trump as an area that needed negotiating. [112]

In 2018, Trump and Trudeau negotiated the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), a free trade agreement concluded between Canada, Mexico, and the United States that succeeded the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). [113] The agreement has been characterized as "NAFTA 2.0," [114] [115] [116] or "New NAFTA," [117] [118] since many provisions from NAFTA were incorporated and its changes were seen as largely incremental. On July 1, 2020, the USMCA entered into force in all member states.

In June 2018, after Trudeau explained that Canadians would not be "pushed around" by the Trump tariffs on Canada's aluminum and steel, Trump labelled Trudeau as "dishonest" and "meek", and accused Trudeau of making "false statements", although it is unclear which statements Trump was referring to. Trump's adviser on trade, Peter Navarro, said that there was a "special place in hell" for Trudeau as he employed "bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door . that comes right from Air Force One." [119] [120] Days later, Trump said that Trudeau's comments are "going to cost a lot of money for the people of Canada". [121]

In June 2019, the U.S. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said the US "view Canada’s claim that the waters of the Northwest Passage are internal waters of Canada as inconsistent with international law." [122]

Justin Trudeau and Joe Biden (January 2021 – present) Edit

Following the victory of Joe Biden in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Trudeau congratulated him on his successful victory indicating a significant improvement in Canada-U.S. relationships which had been strained in the years prior during the Presidency of Donald Trump.

On January 22, 2021, Biden and Trudeau held their first phone call. Trudeau was the first foreign leader to receive a phone call from Biden as President. [123]

On February 23, 2021, Biden and Trudeau held their first bilateral meeting. Although virtual, the bilateral meeting was Biden's first as President. The two leaders discussed "COVID-19, economic recovery, climate change, and refugees and migration" among other subjects. [124]

The Canadian military, like forces of other NATO countries, fought alongside the United States in most major conflicts since World War II, including the Korean War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, and most recently the war in Afghanistan. The main exceptions to this were the Canadian government's opposition to the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, which caused some brief diplomatic tensions. Despite these issues, military relations have remained close.

American defense arrangements with Canada are more extensive than with any other country. [125] The Permanent Joint Board of Defense, established in 1940, provides policy-level consultation on bilateral defense matters. The United States and Canada share North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mutual security commitments. In addition, American and Canadian military forces have cooperated since 1958 on continental air defense within the framework of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Canadian forces have provided indirect support for the American invasion of Iraq that began in 2003. [126] Moreover, interoperability with the American armed forces has been a guiding principle of Canadian military force structuring and doctrine since the end of the Cold War. Canadian navy frigates, for instance, integrate seamlessly into American carrier battle groups. [127]

In commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 ambassadors from Canada and the US, and naval officers from both countries gathered at the Pritzker Military Library on August 17, 2012, for a panel discussion on Canada-US relations with emphasis on national security-related matters. Also as part of the commemoration, the navies of both countries sailed together throughout the Great Lakes region. [128]

War in Afghanistan Edit

Canada's elite JTF2 unit joined American special forces in Afghanistan shortly after the al-Qaida attacks on September 11, 2001. Canadian forces joined the multinational coalition in Operation Anaconda in January 2002. On April 18, 2002, an American pilot bombed Canadian forces involved in a training exercise, killing four and wounding eight Canadians. A joint American-Canadian inquiry determined the cause of the incident to be pilot error, in which the pilot interpreted ground fire as an attack the pilot ignored orders that he felt were "second-guessing" his field tactical decision. [129] [130] Canadian forces assumed a six-month command rotation of the International Security Assistance Force in 2003 in 2005, Canadians assumed operational command of the multi-national Brigade in Kandahar, with 2,300 troops, and supervises the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar, where al-Qaida forces are most active. Canada has also deployed naval forces in the Persian Gulf since 1991 in support of the UN Gulf Multinational Interdiction Force. [131]

The Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. maintains a public relations website named, which is intended "to give American citizens a better sense of the scope of Canada's role in North American and Global Security and the War on Terror".

The New Democratic Party and some recent Liberal leadership candidates have expressed opposition to Canada's expanded role in the Afghan conflict on the ground that it is inconsistent with Canada's historic role (since the Second World War) of peacekeeping operations. [132]

2003 Invasion of Iraq Edit

According to contemporary polls, 71% of Canadians were opposed to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. [133] Many Canadians, and the former Liberal Cabinet headed by Paul Martin (as well as many Americans such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama), [134] made a policy distinction between conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, unlike the Bush Doctrine, which linked these together in a "Global war on terror".

Responding to ISIS/Daesh Edit

Canada has been involved in international responses to the threats from Daesh/ISIS/ISIL in Syria and Iraq, and is a member of the Global Coalition to Counter Daesh. In October 2016, Foreign Affairs Minister Dion and National Defence Minister Sajjan met the U.S. special envoy for this coalition. The Americans thanked Canada "for the role of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in providing training and assistance to Iraqi security forces, as well as the CAF's role in improving essential capacity-building capabilities with regional forces." [135]

Illicit drugs Edit

In 2003, the American government became concerned when members of the Canadian government announced plans to decriminalize marijuana. David Murray, an assistant to U.S. Drug Czar John P. Walters, said in a CBC interview that, "We would have to respond. We would be forced to respond." [136] However, the election of the Conservative Party in early 2006 halted the liberalization of marijuana laws until the Liberal Party of Canada legalised recreational cannabis use in 2018. [137]

A 2007 joint report by American and Canadian officials on cross-border drug smuggling indicated that, despite their best efforts, "drug trafficking still occurs in significant quantities in both directions across the border. The principal illicit substances smuggled across our shared border are MDMA (Ecstasy), cocaine, and marijuana." [138] The report indicated that Canada was a major producer of Ecstasy and marijuana for the U.S. market, while the U.S. was a transit country for cocaine entering Canada.

Canada and the United States have the world's second largest trading relationship, with huge quantities of goods and people flowing across the border each year. Since the 1987 Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement, there have been no tariffs on most goods passed between the two countries.

In the course of the softwood lumber dispute, the U.S. has placed tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber because of what it argues is an unfair Canadian government subsidy, a claim which Canada disputes. The dispute has cycled through several agreements and arbitration cases. Other notable disputes include the Canadian Wheat Board, and Canadian cultural "restrictions" on magazines and television (See CRTC, CBC, and National Film Board of Canada). Canadians have been criticized about such things as the ban on beef since a case of Mad Cow disease was discovered in 2003 in cows from the United States (and a few subsequent cases) and the high American agricultural subsidies. Concerns in Canada also run high over aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) such as Chapter 11. [139]

A principal instrument of this cooperation is the International Joint Commission (IJC), established as part of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to resolve differences and promote international cooperation on boundary waters. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972 is another historic example of joint cooperation in controlling trans-border water pollution. [140] However, there have been some disputes. Most recently, the Devil's Lake Outlet, a project instituted by North Dakota, has angered Manitobans who fear that their water may soon become polluted as a result of this project.

Beginning in 1986, the Canadian government of Brian Mulroney began pressing the Reagan administration for an "Acid Rain Treaty" in order to do something about U.S. industrial air pollution causing acid rain in Canada. The Reagan administration was hesitant, and questioned the science behind Mulroney's claims. However, Mulroney was able to prevail. The product was the signing and ratification of the Air Quality Agreement of 1991 by the first Bush administration. Under that treaty, the two governments consult semi-annually on trans-border air pollution, which has demonstrably reduced acid rain, and they have since signed an annex to the treaty dealing with ground level ozone in 2000. [141] [142] [143] [144] Despite this, trans-border air pollution remains an issue, particularly in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed during the summer. The main source of this trans-border pollution results from coal-fired power stations, most of them located in the Midwestern United States. [145] As part of the negotiations to create NAFTA, Canada and the U.S. signed, along with Mexico, the North American Agreement On Environmental Cooperation which created the Commission for Environmental Cooperation which monitors environmental issues across the continent, publishing the North American Environmental Atlas as one aspect of its monitoring duties. [146]

Currently neither of the countries' governments support the Kyoto Protocol, which set out time scheduled curbing of greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike the United States, Canada has ratified the agreement. Yet after ratification, due to internal political conflict within Canada, the Canadian government does not enforce the Kyoto Protocol, and has received criticism from environmental groups and from other governments for its climate change positions. In January 2011, the Canadian minister of the environment, Peter Kent, explicitly stated that the policy of his government with regards to greenhouse gas emissions reductions is to wait for the United States to act first, and then try to harmonize with that action – a position that has been condemned by environmentalists and Canadian nationalists, and as well as scientists and government think-tanks. [147] [148]

Newfoundland fisheries dispute Edit

The United States and Britain had a long-standing dispute about the rights of Americans fishing in the waters near Newfoundland. [149] Before 1776, there was no question that American fishermen, mostly from Massachusetts, had rights to use the waters off Newfoundland. In the peace treaty negotiations of 1783, the Americans insisted on a statement of these rights. However, France, an American ally, disputed the American position because France had its own specified rights in the area and wanted them to be exclusive. [150] The Treaty of Paris (1783) gave the Americans not rights, but rather "liberties" to fish within the territorial waters of British North America and to dry fish on certain coasts.

After the War of 1812, the Convention of 1818 between the United States and Britain specified exactly what liberties were involved. [151] Canadian and Newfoundland fishermen contested these liberties in the 1830s and 1840s. The Canadian–American Reciprocity Treaty of 1854, and the Treaty of Washington of 1871 spelled-out the liberties in more detail. However the Treaty of Washington expired in 1885, and there was a continuous round of disputes over jurisdictions and liberties. Britain and the United States sent the issue to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 1909. It produced a compromise settlement that permanently ended the problems. [152] [153]

Diplomatic missions Edit

Canadian missions in the United States Edit

Canada's chief diplomatic mission to the United States is the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. It is further supported by many consulates located throughout the United States. [154] The Canadian Government maintains consulates-general in several major U.S. cities, including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle. Canadian consular services are also available in Honolulu at the consulate of Australia through the Canada–Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement. There are also Canadian trade offices located in Houston, Palo Alto, and San Diego.

U.S. missions in Canada Edit

The United States' chief diplomatic mission to Canada is the United States Embassy in Ottawa. It is supported by many consulates located throughout Canada. [155] The U.S government maintains consulates-general in several major Canadian cities, including: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

The United States also maintains Virtual Presence Posts (VPPs) in the: Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Southwestern Ontario, and Yukon.

Common memberships Edit

Canada and the United States both hold membership in a number of multinational organizations, including:

Territorial disputes Edit

The two countries have had a number of territorial disputes throughout their histories. Current maritime territorial disputes between the two countries include the Beaufort Sea, Dixon Entrance, Strait of Juan de Fuca, San Juan Islands, Machias Seal Island, and North Rock. Additionally, the United States is one of several countries that contends the Northwest Passage is international waters whereas the Canadian government asserts it forms Canadian Internal Waters. The Inside Passage is also disputed as international waters by the United States.

Historical boundary disputes include the Aroostook War at the Maine-New Brunswick border the Oregon boundary dispute at the present day British Columbia-Washington border and the Alaska Boundary Dispute at the Alaska-British Columbia border. The Maine-New Brunswick boundary dispute was resolved through the Webster–Ashburton Treaty in 1842, the Oregon boundary dispute through the Oregon Treaty of 1846, and the Alaska boundary dispute through arbitration in 1903.

Northwest Passage Edit

A long-simmering dispute between Canada and the U.S. involves the issue of Canadian sovereignty over the Northwest Passage (the sea passages in the Arctic). Canada's assertion that the Northwest Passage represents internal (territorial) waters has been challenged by other countries, especially the U.S., which argue that these waters constitute an international strait (international waters). Canadians were alarmed when Americans drove the reinforced oil tanker Manhattan through the Northwest Passage in 1969, followed by the icebreaker Polar Sea in 1985, which actually resulted in a minor diplomatic incident. In 1970, the Canadian parliament enacted the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, which asserts Canadian regulatory control over pollution within a 100-mile zone. In response, the United States in 1970 stated, "We cannot accept the assertion of a Canadian claim that the Arctic waters are internal waters of Canada. Such acceptance would jeopardize the freedom of navigation essential for United States naval activities worldwide." A compromise of sorts was reached in 1988, by an agreement on "Arctic Cooperation," which pledges that voyages of American icebreakers "will be undertaken with the consent of the Government of Canada." However the agreement did not alter either country's basic legal position. Paul Cellucci, the American ambassador to Canada, in 2005 suggested to Washington that it should recognize the straits as belonging to Canada. His advice was rejected and Harper took opposite positions. The U.S. opposes Harper's proposed plan to deploy military icebreakers in the Arctic to detect interlopers and assert Canadian sovereignty over those waters. [156] [157]

Views of presidents and prime ministers Edit

Presidents and prime ministers typically make formal or informal statements that indicate the diplomatic policy of their administration. Diplomats and journalists at the time—and historians since—dissect the nuances and tone to detect the warmth or coolness of the relationship.

  • Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, speaking at the beginning of the 1891 election (fought mostly over Canadian free trade with the United States), arguing against closer trade relations with the U.S. stated "As for myself, my course is clear. A British subject I was born—a British subject I will die. With my utmost effort, with my latest breath, will I oppose the ‘veiled treason’ which attempts by sordid means and mercenary proffers to lure our people from their allegiance." (February 3, 1891. [158] )

Canada's first Prime Minister also said:

It has been said that the United States Government is a failure. I don't go so far. On the contrary, I consider it a marvelous exhibition of human wisdom. It was as perfect as human wisdom could make it, and under it the American States greatly prospered until very recently but being the work of men it had its defects, and it is for us to take advantage by experience, and endeavor to see if we cannot arrive by careful study at such a plan as will avoid the mistakes of our neighbors. In the first place we know that every individual state was an individual sovereignty—that each had its own army and navy and political organization – and when they formed themselves into a confederation they only gave the central authority certain specific rights appertaining to sovereign powers. The dangers that have risen from this system we will avoid if we can agree upon forming a strong central government—a great Central Legislature—a constitution for a Union which will have all the rights of sovereignty except those that are given to the local governments. Then we shall have taken a great step in advance of the American Republic. (September 12, 1864)

  • Prime Minister John Sparrow Thompson, angry at failed trade talks in 1888, privately complained to his wife, Lady Thompson, that "These Yankee politicians are the lowest race of thieves in existence." [159]
  • After the World War II years of close military and economic cooperation, President Harry S. Truman said in 1947 that "Canada and the United States have reached the point where we can no longer think of each other as 'foreign' countries." [160]
  • President John F. Kennedy told Parliament in Ottawa in May 1961 that "Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners. And necessity has made us allies. Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder." [161]
  • President Lyndon Johnson helped open Expo '67 with an upbeat theme, saying that "We of the United States consider ourselves blessed. We have much to give thanks for. But the gift of providence we cherish most is that we were given as our neighbours on this wonderful continent the people and the nation of Canada." Remarks at Expo '67, Montreal, May 25, 1967. [162]
  • Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau famously said that being America's neighbour "is like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered the beast, if one can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt." [163][164]
  • Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, sharply at odds with the U.S. over Cold War policy, warned at a press conference in 1971 that the overwhelming American presence posed "a danger to our national identity from a cultural, economic and perhaps even military point of view." [165]
  • President Richard Nixon, in a speech to Parliament in 1972 was angry at Trudeau, declared that the "special relationship" between Canada and the United States was dead. "It is time for us to recognize," he stated, "that we have very separate identities that we have significant differences and that nobody's interests are furthered when these realities are obscured." [166]
  • In late 2001, President George W. Bush did not mention Canada during a speech in which he thanked a list of countries who had assisted in responding to the events of September 11, although Canada had provided military, financial, and other support. [167] Ten years later, David Frum, one of President Bush's speechwriters, stated that it was an unintentional omission. [168]
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a statement congratulating Barack Obama on his inauguration, stated that "The United States remains Canada's most important ally, closest friend and largest trading partner and I look forward to working with President Obama and his administration as we build on this special relationship." [169]
  • President Barack Obama, speaking in Ottawa at his first official international visit on February 19, 2009, said, "I love this country. We could not have a better friend and ally." [170]

Today there remain cross-border cultural ties [171] [172] [173] and according to Gallup's annual public opinion polls, Canada has consistently been Americans' favorite nation, with 96% of Americans viewing Canada favorably in 2012. [174] [175] As of spring 2013, 64% of Canadians had a favorable view of the U.S. and 81% expressed confidence in then-US President Obama to do the right thing in international matters. According to the same poll, 30% viewed the U.S. negatively. [176] In addition, according to Spring 2017 Global Attitudes Survey, 43% of Canadians view the U.S. positively, while 51% hold a negative view. [177] More recently, however, a poll in January 2018 showed Canadians' approval of U.S. leadership dropped by over 40 percentage points under President Donald Trump, in line with the view of residents of many other U.S. allied and neutral countries. [178]

Anti-Americanism Edit

Since the arrival of the Loyalists as refugees from the American Revolution in the 1780s, historians have identified a constant theme of Canadian fear of the United States and of "Americanization" or a cultural takeover. In the War of 1812, for example, the enthusiastic response by French militia to defend Lower Canada reflected, according to Heidler and Heidler (2004), "the fear of Americanization." [179] Scholars have traced this attitude over time in Ontario and Quebec. [180]

Canadian intellectuals who wrote about the U.S. in the first half of the 20th century identified America as the world center of modernity, and deplored it. Anti-American Canadians (who admired the British Empire) explained that Canada had narrowly escaped American conquest with its rejection of tradition, its worship of "progress" and technology, and its mass culture they explained that Canada was much better because of its commitment to orderly government and societal harmony. There were a few ardent defenders of the nation to the south, notably liberal and socialist intellectuals such as F. R. Scott and Jean-Charles Harvey (1891–1967). [181]

Looking at television, Collins (1990) finds that it is in Anglophone Canada that fear of cultural Americanization is most powerful, for there the attractions of the U.S. are strongest. [182] Meren (2009) argues that after 1945, the emergence of Quebec nationalism and the desire to preserve French-Canadian cultural heritage led to growing anxiety regarding American cultural imperialism and Americanization. [183] In 2006 surveys showed that 60 percent of Québécois had a fear of Americanization, while other surveys showed they preferred their current situation to that of the Americans in the realms of health care, quality of life as seniors, environmental quality, poverty, educational system, racism and standard of living. While agreeing that job opportunities are greater in America, 89 percent disagreed with the notion that they would rather be in the United States, and they were more likely to feel closer to English Canadians than to Americans. [184] However, there is evidence that the elites and Quebec are much less fearful of Americanization, and much more open to economic integration than the general public. [184]

The history has been traced in detail by a leading Canadian historian J.L. Granatstein in Yankee Go Home: Canadians and Anti-Americanism (1997). Current studies report the phenomenon persists. Two scholars report, "Anti-Americanism is alive and well in Canada today, strengthened by, among other things, disputes related to NAFTA, American involvement in the Middle East, and the ever-increasing Americanization of Canadian culture." [185] Jamie Glazov writes, "More than anything else, Diefenbaker became the tragic victim of Canadian anti-Americanism, a sentiment the prime minister had fully embraced by 1962. [He was] unable to imagine himself (or his foreign policy) without enemies." [186] Historian J. M. Bumsted says, "In its most extreme form, Canadian suspicion of the United States has led to outbreaks of overt anti-Americanism, usually spilling over against American residents in Canada." [187] John R. Wennersten writes, "But at the heart of Canadian anti-Americanism lies a cultural bitterness that takes an American expatriate unaware. Canadians fear the American media's influence on their culture and talk critically about how Americans are exporting a culture of violence in its television programming and movies." [188] However Kim Nossal points out that the Canadian variety is much milder than anti-Americanism in some other countries. [189] By contrast Americans show very little knowledge or interest one way or the other regarding Canadian affairs. [190] Canadian historian Frank Underhill, quoting Canadian playwright Merrill Denison summed it up: "Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, whereas Canadians are malevolently informed about the United States." [191]

Canadian public opinion on U.S. presidents Edit

United States President George W. Bush was "deeply disliked" by a majority of Canadians according to the Arizona Daily Sun. A 2004 poll found that more than two thirds of Canadians favoured Democrat John Kerry over Bush in the 2004 presidential election, with Bush's lowest approval ratings in Canada being in the province of Quebec where just 11% of the population supported him. [192] Canadian public opinion of Barack Obama was significantly more positive. A 2012 poll found that 65% of Canadians would vote for Obama in the 2012 presidential election "if they could" while only 9% of Canadians would vote for his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. The same study found that 61% of Canadians felt that the Obama administration had been "good" for America, while only 12% felt it had been "bad". Similarly, a Pew Research poll conducted in June 2016 found that 83% of Canadians were "confident in Obama to do the right thing regarding world affairs". [193] The study also found that a majority of members of all three major Canadian political parties supported Obama, and also found that Obama had slightly higher approval ratings in Canada in 2012 than he did in 2008. John Ibbitson of The Globe and Mail stated in 2012 that Canadians generally supported Democratic presidents over Republican presidents, citing how President Richard Nixon was "never liked" in Canada and that Canadians generally did not approve of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's friendship with President Ronald Reagan. [194]

A November 2016 poll found 82% of Canadians preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. [195] A January 2017 poll found that 66% of Canadians "disapproved" of Donald Trump, with 23% approving of him and 11% being "unsure". The poll also found that only 18% of Canadians believed Trump's presidency would have a positive impact on Canada, while 63% believed it would have a negative effect. [196] A July 2019 poll found 79% of Canadians preferred Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders over Trump. [197]

6. Domestic Extremism

Q: The United States has seen a wave of attacks perpetrated by violent extremist Americans, particularly those that are racially motivated, that some argue should be labeled domestic terrorism. What should we do to combat this threat to Americans?

Sadly, under Trump, right-wing violent extremism in this country is now a greater threat than international terrorism, according to the FBI. And yet, the President has referred to these groups as “very fine people.” But hate has no place in America. We need to treat people who commit or threaten violence as the criminals they are.

Disclosure of funds

Tell a Canadian official when you arrive in Canada if you’re carrying more than CAN $10,000. If you don’t, you may be fined, and your funds could be seized.

These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash
  • cheques
  • bankers’ drafts
  • travelers’ cheques or money orders
  • securities that belong to you, such as:
    • stocks
    • bonds
    • debentures
    • treasury bills

    Find out more about your duty to disclose funds either before you leave or once you arrive in Canada.


    In 2006, Congress required that a barrier be constructed. But the project was never completed as mandated, and much of the border wall/fence lies in disrepair or is built to subpar standards. With illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and human smuggling reaching historic levels, an ongoing problem, and the threat of terrorism ever increasing, it is critical that a proper security barrier be constructed.

    A physical barrier on the southern border is a necessity if our government wishes to meet its obligation to protect the sovereignty and security of the United States of America. Besides helping stem the tide of illegal immigration, it also limits the ability of drug cartels, human traffickers, terrorists, and other national security threats to access the United States from Mexico and the rest of Central and South America. Furthermore, a secure border sends the message that prospective immigrants are expected to follow the rule of law.

    Footnotes and endnotes

    (1) CRS Report for Congress, “Border Security: The San Diego Fence,” 2007,

    (2) GovTrack, “H.R. 6061 (109th): Secure Fence Act of 2006,”

    (3) DailyMail, “World of walls: How 65 countries have erected fences on their borders – four times as many as when the Berlin Wall was toppled – as governments try to hold back the tide of migrants,” 2015,

    (4) U.S. National Park Service, “International Border Vehicle Barrier,”

    (5) The Washington Post, “Trump’s dubious claim that his border wall would cost $8 billion”,

    (6) Bernstein, “Bernstein Materials Blast: Who Would Profit from The Trump Wall?,” 2016,

    (7) Marc R. Rosenblum, “What Would a Secure Border Look Like,” Hearing Before The Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, 2013

    Watch the video: Everything you need to know about Canadas border reopening Aug. 9