Past Features

November 10, 2017

Canada seeks to protect borders

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Winnipeg Free Press -- November 10, 2017    
Border officials on alert due to Trump, meeting told
Manitoba's temporary shelter is helping 60 to 80 border crossers a month
 With the legal status of nearly one million immigrants in the United States up in the air, Manitoba is keeping an ear to the ground for people entering Canada on foot ---- literally.
    "We have ground sensors, seismic sensors," RCMP Sgt. Cory Myers said of the integrated border program enforcement team, listing some of the tools it uses to patrol the 520-kilometre stretch of the Canada-U.S. border in Manitoba.
    He and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) counterpart Chief Ben Tame spoke at a Manitoba Criminal Justice Association conference Thursday, about their roles and the growing number of asylum seekers walking into Canada in recent years.
    The 2016 election of U.S. President Donald Trump was followed by a spike in the number of refugee claimants picked up by RCMP near the Manitoba border community of Emerson, from 19 in January to 170 in March. Since summer, there have been around 80 arrivals a month.
    Border authorities and resettlement agencies in Manitoba are on alert again, after recent announcements the Trump administration plans to remove the temporary protected status of 300,000 immigrants in the next 14 months, and to deny permanent residence to those who arrived as children of undocumented migrants.
    "If there's a big flood, I don't know what we're going to do," said Abdikheir Ahmed, director of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg. He said the provincial government's temporary shelter at Gretna, where refugee claimants are taken after they're picked up by the RCMP and screened by CBSA, is helping by taking in about 60 to 80 asylum seekers a month.
    "If that's overwhelmed, I don't know what's going to happen."

Glenn Spencer -- November 10, 2017
Misplaced faith?
According to press reports, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police claim that they can protect 280 miles of the border between Manitoba and North Dakota using seismic ground sensors. Whoever makes those seismic sensors should have submitted the design to the recent Request for Information posted by DHS/CBP that is looking for Linear Ground Detection Systems.
    Unless the sensors used by the RCMP are radically different from anything being used by the U.S. Border Patrol, it may have misplaced its faith.