Sovereign nation = Secure borders.
I just returned from some time off, part of which was spent in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Here’s something that struck me. Even though British Columbia looks almost exactly like the United States down to the Bed, Bath & Beyond stores that you pass along the way, it is, in fact, not the United States and you can’t just walk in. Getting into Canada is a bit of a process.
First, Lord help you if you don’t have a smartphone because they insist that you download an app. Once you’ve installed the app — it’s called, “ArriveCAN” — you must then upload copies of your passport and your COVID vaccination record.
With that accomplished, you must then tell them where and when you’ll arrive in Canada, where you’ll be staying while in the country and when and from where you plan to leave.
It seemed like overkill, again considering that once you’re in Canada, it’s almost impossible to tell that you’ve left the United States.
But as I think about it, I find myself saying, “Good for Canada.” Because the people of the sovereign nation of Canada have the right to decide for themselves who gets to enter their country, in what numbers and under what circumstances.
Because the people of Canada aren’t stupid, they don’t want to allow the unfettered importation of drugs, disease, crime and poverty into their country.
What a concept.
But here’s what further struck me. It wasn’t all that easy for my wife and me to come home. We had to arrive at the ferry terminal that takes cars and people between Victoria, British Columbia and Port Townsend, Washington, 90 minutes early in order to be processed by U.S. Customs & Border Protection. Given the number of people on that ferry, we needed all 90 minutes.
We were asked where we lived in the U.S., where we had been in Canada, how long we had been in Canada and what we might have on us that we shouldn’t have on us.
Again, good for us, the U.S. We don’t want drugs, disease, crime and poverty walking into our country either.
This was the northern border of the United States. And we were mere citizens. On the southern border of the United States, drugs, disease, crime and poverty are walked into the country by non-citizens every single day.
It’s as if with respect to border security, the U.S. has multiple personality disorder. On one hand clean, fastidious and healthy and on the other dirty, disorderly and diseased.
The simple fact is that both Canada and the United States – along with very nearly every other nation on earth – has the equivalent of our Customs & Border Protection agency for the simple reason that a sovereign nation without secure borders isn’t a sovereign nation at all.
At one time in our history there was no debate on this point. That there is now tells you just how far our standards have fallen and how difficult the job will be to restore them.