Addressing the Senate Homeland Security committee this week, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly commended Canada’s role in protecting the northern border. And despite calls in the U.S. to clamp down harder on border security, he unexpectedly suggested it should become less restrictive.
Prodded by two senators about his concerns with the northern border, the retired Marine general had nothing but praise. “The absolutely great news story in the northern border is that we have Canada there. To say the least: a friend, an ally,” he said.
“The good news story up there is the Canadians. Their law enforcement, their commitment,” he continued. “I would say, actually, this might surprise you . . . I’d like to see the northern border to be even thinner, if you will, so that the movement, safely and securely, of commerce and people can be even streamlined more.”
As reported by the Toronto Star, Kelly did say he was monitoring a “little” increase recently in the number of Mexicans crossing illegally from Canada.
On the whole, though, the newspaper rightly noted his comments were among the most positive uttered by a senior U.S. security official about the border in a very long time.
CTA, which continues to work with U.S. and Canadian border officials to improve efficiencies and expedite clearance for pre-approved, trusted commercial traffic, welcomed the secretary’s words, but remains cautiously optimistic.
CTA CEO David Bradley told the Star the organization continues to meet with policy makers and trade stakeholders on both sides of the border to seek clarity on the future of NAFTA.
“What’s overhanging the situation now is uncertainty and the unknown,” Bradley told The Star. “Nobody’s hitting the panic button, but there is uncertainty.”
Full story here.