Congress has allowed for emergency funding to go towards the southwestern border crisis, but the northern border of America and Canada is being ignored.
The northern border is where almost 400,000 people cross daily and where $1.6 billion goods cross. Nearly 93% of Border Patrol fentanyl seizures happen along the northern border. It is important to note as the U.S. is currently in the grips of an opiate epidemic.
And despite knowing this information, the Department of Homeland Security has only ordered 2,200 Border Patrol agents along the Canadian border while deploying almost 16,600 agents along the southwest border in 2017.
According to a Government Accountability Office report, the shortage in agents “at times, poses risks to agent safety.” It also prevents the agent’s ability to respond to a request for support.
The DHS has also admitted to struggling with modernizing the infrastructure along the Canadian border. Because of this, the process of detaining people has often been prevented or delayed.
The fact remains that the Candian border does not have the budget to upgrade equipment and facilities. In fact, the DHS has stopped almost 20 construction projects along with maintenance projects along the northern border.
One station did not even have a processing and interview area, so detainees are processed outside next to agent workstations, which poses a safety risk for Border Patrol officers. Other stations have ignored repaired, or are too small to accommodate staff. Agents often have to drive through backwoods where their phones do not receive signal.