A 3.8-kilometre cable barrier was constructed by U.S. crews along Boundary Road at the U.S.-Canada border across from Aldergrove and Abbotsford last week, on Aug. 18 and 19. (Sarah Grochowski/Aldergrove Star)

New U.S.-Canada border fence unlawful, argues Blaine immigration lawyer

‘If anybody should be putting up a wall it is the Canadian government’: Len Saunders

United States Border Patrol’s (USBP) Blaine sector is currently overseeing the construction project on the international boundary between the United States and Canada.

By last Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. fence continued west from Ross to Bradner Roads in Abbotsford. In total, it will span about 3.8 kilometres.

Though it does not appear to have anything to do specifically with COVID-19, a Blaine immigration lawyer thinks there is a lot the USBP is not saying.

“They’re not being up-front as to why they are doing this,” lawyer Len Saunders told the Star.

The fence project addresses what acting chief patrol agent Tony Holladay calls bi-national safety concerns related to a “vulnerable section” of the border located between Boundary Road in the U.S. and Zero Avenue in Canada.

The construction project involves the installation of a cable barrier system along this section of the border to prevent vehicles from either accidentally, or purposefully, crossing the boundary and endangering citizens in both countries.

RELATED: Metal fence erected along U.S.-Canadian backroad border amid COVID ‘loophole’ meet-ups

“This safety cable barrier not only protects people in the United States and Canada, but it also aids in securing this portion of the border by deterring illegal vehicle entries in both directions,” Holladay said.

“Locally, in our community, trans-national criminal organizations have capitalized on this vulnerable area by smuggling both narcotics and people. The enhancement to this specific border area mitigates the threat posed by these dangerous criminal enterprises.”

Saunders, a resident of Blaine, Wash. for 20 years, said he doesn’t think the fence addresses any safety issues at the U.S.-Canada border.

“To begin with, there is very little vehicle traffic on the U.S. side of the road, so why build a fence?” Saunders questioned.

“And just how many Canadians want to come to this country [America] right now? They can fly if they want,” Saunders added.

“People are scared for their health here. If anybody should be putting up a wall it is the Canadian government.”

READ MORE: U.S./Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

The immigration lawyer said the northern border has been fence- and barrier-free for more than 200 years due to an international borderer convention between the two nations.

Established after the Treaty of 1908, the signed agreement called for a clear demarcation and maintenance of the border from coast-to-coast, including keeping the vista clear of unapproved structures or barriers.

“This new fence is in direct contravention of the Treaty of Ghent, which specifically says nothing is to be built within 10 feet of either side of that border,” Saunders related.

border agency

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Green Party announces candidate for Abbotsford South

Former provincial and municipal candidate Aird Flavelle seeks election

Abbotsford’s Haidyn Vermeulen signs with Alberta Golden Bears

Grade 12 Abby Senior student joining Edmonton-based football program in 2021

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Permanent fish-passage solutions considered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Most Read