07.23.15

Peters Joins Colleagues in Introducing Bipartisan Bill to Protect Northern Border

Bill Would Require Examination of Threats & Security Needs at 5,500 Mile Long Northern Border to Improve Resources, Make it Stronger, Safer

 

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, today announced that he joined his colleagues in introducing the bipartisan Northern Border Security Review Act to require a comprehensive examination of how to strengthen American security at the Northern Border, which is the longest shared land border in the world. Peters introduced the bill along with Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Ron Johnson (R-WI).

“Michigan is home to one of our longest stretches of the U.S.-Canadian border, as well as some of the busiest border crossings in the country,” said Senator Peters. “We must promote efficient trade and travel that bring goods and people across our borders, while working to protect the security of our border by stopping human trafficking and other criminal enterprises. This bipartisan legislation will bring a stronger focus to the unique challenges on our Northern Border and help ensure that our border security officials have the necessary personnel and tools to keep our border safe and secure.”

The Northern Border is 5,500 miles long and has 120 border crossings ranging from major exchanges to small and rural crossings. Michigan has the second longest section of the border behind Alaska, measuring 721 miles. Michigan is also home to two of the busiest Northern Border crossings—the Detroit-Windsor Crossing and the Port Huron-Sarnia Crossing. Approximately 300,000 people and $910 million in trade cross the Northern Border every day, representing the largest bilateral flows of goods and people in the world.

The Northern Border Security Review Act aims to address challenges at the Northern Border by requiring the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to complete a full assessment of the security threats and challenges at the border. The United States and Canada last conducted a joint border and threat risk assessment in 2011, and the DHS published its Northern Border Strategy in 2012.

This legislation will update the United States’ threat assessment to effectively respond to emerging challenges, and will examine numerous issues, including recruiting and retaining border security officials to cover the Northern Border. It would also determine tools to effectively combat drug and human trafficking at the Northern Border, identify improvements needed at ports of entry and along the maritime border between the United States  and Canada, and find vulnerabilities in cooperation between Canadian, state, local and tribal law enforcement.

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