U.S. politicians again endorse studying fence on Canada border
The U.S. House of Representatives has again endorsed a study on building a security fence along the Canada-U.S. border.
The politicians passed the measure by a vote of 283-138 Thursday in a bill that also authorizes a 1,126-kilometre barrier along the border with Mexico to deal with illegal immigrants.
American politicians first called last December for a study to see whether the idea is necessary or practical in the north as part of their broader immigration legislation.
But the Senate has never included the measure in its own bill.
House legislators are trying to show voters in this November's mid-term elections that they're tough on security but not penalizing one part of the country over another, analysts say.
Peter King, chairman of the House committee on homeland security, urged his colleagues to pass what he called emergency legislation in a letter this week.
"So long as our borders remain porous, our citizens are threatened," he wrote. "Over the past year, we have witnessed numerous terrorist threats and arrests both here and abroad, and we owe it to every American to take immediate action."
Business groups have condemned the idea of a fence along the Canada-U.S. border as absurd.
"The fence initiative is meant to stem the tide of illegal immigrants," said Scotty Greenwood, executive director of the Canadian American Business Council.
"Last time I checked, that wasn't a problem at the northern border."
Legislators, she said, need to recognize there are different challenges in the north and south.