US DHS Northern Border Strategy

The DHS Northern Border Strategy is the first unified DHS strategy to guide the Department’s policies and operations along the U.S.-Canada border providing a framework for enhancing security and resiliency while expediting lawful travel and trade throughout the Northern border region.

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“The U.S.-Canada border is the longest common border in the world, and it joins two nations that enjoy one of the world’s strongest relationships. With communities and businesses that reach both sides of the border, the economies and security of the United States and Canada are inextricably linked.”
DHS is focused on securing the U.S. northern border while expediting the flow of lawful travel, trade, and immigration. Cross-border communities contain significant populations that commute across the border every day and whose water or electrical power comes from the other country. Recognizing the cross-border nature of infrastructure and commerce is critical to DHS’s ability to effectively manage the northern border.
The DHS NBS is the first Department-wide strategy to guide policy and operations at the Northern border. The NBS identifies three key goals for the Northern border:

  • Deterring and preventing terrorism and smuggling, trafficking, and illegal immigration;
  • Safeguarding and encouraging the efficient flow of lawful trade, travel, and immigration; and
  • Ensuring community resiliency before, during, and after terrorist attacks and other disasters.

To accomplish these goals, DHS will leverage resources to improve information sharing and analysis within DHS, as well as with key partners. The Department will also enhance coordination of U.S.-Canada joint interdictions and investigations, deploy technologies to aid joint security efforts along the border, and continue to update infrastructure to facilitate travel and trade.
DHS will partner with federal, state, local, tribal, and private sector partners as well as its Canadian counterparts to carry out key elements of the NBS throughout the region. The NBS is consistent with and will support the vision articulated by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper in Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.

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