Wednesday, July 8, 2009

South of the border, down America way

America is nothing if not a country devoted to equality. There will be pressure on the government in its efforts to protect its borders to treat its northern boundary with Canada exactly as it does its boundary with Mexico. Already, the passport requirement is in effect at land border crossings and the U.S. has deployed spy drones and other electronic devices to watch for illegal crossings from Canada. No doubt the legislators will demand a fence like the U.S. has between itself and Mexico, although nearly half the boundary between our two countries is under water.

The Department of Homeland Security will have to show that it is spending an equal amount of money defending America's north as it is defending America's south -- in the U.S., equality is measured by money.

Here are the numbers regarding illegal crossings from last year.

Officials apprehended 723,840 people trying to enter the country illegally. Nearly 662,000 were from Mexico. Only 610 were from Canada.

Let's put those numbers in some perspective.

If you put all the illegal entries from Mexico in one urban location, it would rank by population as the 20th largest city in the United States, knocking Baltimore, Maryland down to the 21st spot. If you put the illegal entries from Canada in one place, it would equal the crowd that be can found in one of Toronto's largest downtown nightclub on any Saturday evening.

Do you really need to spend the same money on policing a downtown Toronto nightclub as you do Baltimore?

Now a cynic might say that the reason for the discrepancy in these numbers is because the United States has to date spent a lot more money on resources to catch illegal immigrants from Mexico.


That would be a person who believes that everybody wants to come and live in the United States and that there is no difference in that respect between Mexicans and Canadians. I don't like to burst the bubble of American self-pride, but the vast, vast majority of Canadians have no interest in living in the United States -- visiting yes -- living no. And the few that do want to live there take the legal route and become fully-fledged voting American citizens.

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