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Op-Ed: Canada attacks U.S. plan to deploy troops along Canadian border

Digitaljournal 2020-03-27 03:18:48
American government officials inside Donald Trump’s White House are actively discussing putting troops near the Canadian borders in light of U.S. border security concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, according to sources. At a press conference on Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Trump administration was seeking to station troops at the US-Canada border. While Canada and the U.S. have enjoyed smooth relations over the past year and a half, they did agree to close the borders between the two countries last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland made it clear the Liberal government had no time for a plan to send hundreds of troops to the border to help boost security because it was unnecessary. Trudeau said his government has resisted the idea, adding that it was "very much in both of our interests" to keep the US-Canada border "unmilitarized."

“I don’t think it’s helpful. I don’t think it’s necessary,” said @KirstenHillmanA about the idea of U.S. troops near the Canadian border. Asked what it would change substantively, she said that depends how they do it, but Canada is opposed because of the message it would send. pic.twitter.com/DqdzeoQolc

— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) March 26, 2020
With never really knowing what's behind some of the ideas coming out of the Trump White House, the idea of conducting surveillance at the U.S.-Canada border is ludicrous. Most people would rather go to Canada nowadays than try to get into the U.S. At the press conference held at Rideau Cottage, Trudeau said that "Canada and the United States have the longest unmilitarized border in the world, and it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way," adding that the lack of border militarization had "benefited our two countries and both economies tremendously, and we feel that it needs to remain that way."

"Canada & the U.S. have the longest unmilitarized border in the world & it is very much in both of our of interests for it to remain that way," said @JustinTrudeau in response to reports the U.S. is thinking of stationing troops near the border. Read more: https://t.co/retkOCdB1b pic.twitter.com/B3Tt1uYVvB

— Power & Politics (@PnPCBC) March 26, 2020
Should the U.S. government decide to go forward with its proposal to station troops near the Canadian border, Global News has learned they would be stationed about 18 miles, or 30 kilometers from the actual border. Remote sensors would be used to flag illegal crossings. According to the plan, the troops would not have the authority to arrest or detain anyone, sources say. Instead, border patrol agents would be sent to intercept the irregular crossers. Federal law prohibits the U.S. military from acting as domestic law enforcement agents. Department of Homeland Security However, the American magazine The Nation published a report citing a leaked memo from the Department of Homeland Security that said Customs and Border Protection made the request for 1,000 troops to support it at the Canadian border and another 540 at the border with Mexico. The memo was vague on how or if those troops could use force, saying that “use of force will be informed by the circumstances of their missions.” Talk about mumbling out the side of your mouth. This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com