Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I was in Boulder Colorado last week, and was struck by the number of times I heard reference to the need to tighten security at the US-Canada border. There seem to be two motivations: (1) The recent concern over illegal immigration from Mexico is being expanded to include concern over [non-existent] illegal immigration from Canada; and (2) There is a growing belief, brought on by wholly spurious accounts from media and politicians, that Canada is a hot-bed of terrorist activity and represents a real threat to Americans.

My first reaction was to be a bit pissed off. But then I started to think about it more, and realized that the US concerns don't have to be valid. It's the right of Americans to tighten up any of their national borders for any reason.

Some Canadians believe that the northern border states won't allow the new passport law to come into effect, but given that Canadians are far more likely to have passports than Americans, it will benefit the border states to make it more difficult for US tourists to leave the country.

It's part of the post-9/11 world that the US has changed, and instead of wailing about it Canadians should accept and adapt. In this case, it seems that the only solution is to strengthen our east-west ties (Asia and Europe) and loosen our north-south ties. If we don't, we're possibly in for big trouble down the line.

As Walt Kelly said, "When you starve with a tiger, the tiger starves last."


1 comment:

dave meleney said...

You say Americans have the right to keep Canadians out with no valid reason.....but that means that a majority of my neighbors have the right to veto which,(if any)Canadians I can invite to my home or business...
Do Coloradans also have the right by majority vote to keep out some of them certainly would like to do?
How far can one go with this majority rule about the Jewish refrugees from Hitler...who were refused by FDR?

Alternatively, The Declaration of Independence asserted that humans have rights that preceed the presumptions of Kings and Parliments... and would seem to argue that I have a right to invite you regardless of what my neighbors might think.

Dave Meleney, moderate libertarian
Littleton, Colorado

PS I happen to have a neighbor who objects to my girlfriend staying over, and to my daughter because she is half-Chinese....would these bigoted attitudes be as fair to put into law as any other?