DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITYNORTHERN BORDER STRATEGY
The international border between the United States and Canada separates two friendly
nations with a long history of social, cultural, and economic ties. United States and
Canadian economic and security interests rest on the facilitation of safe, secure, and
efficient flow of cross-border traffic and securing the border against threats. Security
and facilitation of trade and travel are not competing goals, but rather are mutually
reinforcing. To preserve and uphold U.S. economic security and prosperity, and secure
our border, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must facilitate lawful trade
and travel, reduce security risks and vulnerabilities, and promote cross-border resiliency
and collaborative partnerships.
In 2017, DHS conducted an assessment of Northern Border security and concluded that
while the Northern Border remains an area of limited threat in comparison to the U.S.
Southern Border, safeguarding and securing the Northern Border presents unique
1 The most common threat to U.S. public safety along the Northern Border
continues to be the bi-directional flow of illicit drugs. Transnational criminal
organizations (TCOs) are also active along the border and they continually adapt their
drug production, smuggling methods, and routes to avoid detection by U.S. and
Canadian law enforcement. Potential terror threats are primarily from homegrown
violent extremists in Canada who are not included in the U.S. Government's
consolidated terrorist watch list and could therefore enter the United States legally at
Northern Border ports of entry (POEs) without suspicion.