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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2001
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
AG
(202) 616-2777
TDD (202) 514-1888

JOINT US-CANADA STATEMENT ON NORTHERN BORDER PRIORITIES


OTTAWA, CANADA - - Attorney General John Ashcroft, Solicitor General of Canada Lawrence MacAulay, and Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Eleanor Caplan, signed today a Memorandum of Cooperation that addresses common border security and immigration priorities along the U.S.-Canada border. The memorandum underscores the commitment of President Bush and Prime Minister Chretien to defend and protect the U.S.-Canada border and disrupt future terrorist attacks.

"This document is testimony to the ongoing cooperation and collaboration between the United States and Canada that was in place long before September 11, 2001," said Attorney General Ashcroft. "We hope to build on our past successes as we move forward on developing responses and strategies to ensure the continued prosperity of our independent economies."

The memorandum of cooperation focuses on deterrence, detection, prosecution of security threats and the disruption of illegal immigration. The agreement also includes:

  • Expanding the Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBET) to include up to eight additional geographic locations to share information and technology, and maximize law enforcement activity in specific border regions;
  • Supplying the Royal Canadien Mounted Police with equipment and training to access the FBI fingerprint data bank;
  • Enhancing existing communication of intelligence and cooperation between U.S. and Canadian law enforcement under the direction of Project North Star;
  • Integrating Canadian officials into the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force and coordinating efforts to bar entry of future terrorists;
  • Conducting a joint review of U.S.-Canada visitor visa policies and develop joint visa requirements to control unlawful migration from one country to the other;
  • Establishing Joint Passenger Analysis Units to assess passenger information at key international airports in the U.S. and Canada;
  • Increasing the number of Canadian and U.S. Immigration Control Officers overseas in order to intercept inadmissible passengers;
  • Developing common biometric identification cards to increase rapid and positive identification of passengers who may require greater scrutiny; and
  • Developing a Safe Third Country Agreement that supports the free exchange of asylum information to help determine the identity and background of asylum seekers.

"Canada since September 11, has embarked on an intensive $280 million anti-terrorism plan to protect American citizens," said Solicitor General MacAulay. We are both committed to pulling together on security issues that affect the safety of all our citizens."

"The events of September 11, 2001 have cast a new importance on our relationship with the United States, particularly with respect to border security and the legitimate flow of people across our shared border," said Minister Caplan. "This statement reaffirms our long-standing commitment to make the US-Canada border a model of cooperation."

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