U.S., Canada launch border initiatives

The U.S. and Canadian governments Tuesday announced initiatives aimed at promoting security and economic cooperation, including an agreement to complete a joint threat and risk assessment addressing a wide range of border issues.

The North American neighbors also have agreed to draft their first-ever comprehensive plan to protect critical infrastructure, such as electrical grids and tunnels, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Canada's Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said at a news conference.

"The security of the United States and Canada is uniquely linked by proximity and a long history of close collaboration between our two governments," Napolitano said. "Today's announcements reflect our commitment to cooperative action to protect and safeguard both nations' vital assets, networks and systems, as well as the shared responsibility to protect all citizens from cross-border crime and terrorism."

Napolitano acknowledged that the United States and Canada have done their own threat assessments involving their shared border. Under the new agreement, the two governments will conduct a joint threat assessment for the first time, she said.

"The assessment, which will be released later this summer, jointly addresses drug trafficking and illegal immigration, the illicit movement of prohibited or controlled goods, agricultural hazards, and the spread of infectious disease," according to a Homeland Security Department statement.

Under the agreement to establish a critical infrastructure action plan, the countries will share information and assess and manage risks, and increase the ability to prepare for and respond to disasters.

"Our mutual security extends beyond our borders, and we must work together to mitigate threats before they reach either Canada or the U.S. while facilitating the legitimate mobility of people and goods between us," Toews said. "Crystallizing a shared vision of border security that facilitates trade is a priority if we are to mitigate threats to our joint security and promote economic competitiveness."

The two governments also plan to sign a memorandum of understanding on cross-border currency seizures. The agreement - to be signed by the Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection - is intended to help identify potential threats and assist in money-laundering and terrorist-financing investigations and prosecutions, according to DHS.

Additionally, Napolitano said that six ICE agents will be detailed to join a Canadian effort to help the Haitian National Police prevent the sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking in the Caribbean nation.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.