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More agents but less secure northern borders - Susan Brown

Somewhere out there on America's northern borders, security patrol agents are showing up to work, grabbing a newspaper, and positioning their vehicles to gaze across one of the Great Lakes, so they can enjoy a scenic view while they work the daily crossword puzzle.

On our dime.

Back in May, the Obama administration assured us our borders were strengthened because Homeland Security had beefed-up border-agent numbers more than double the amount we had back in 2004.

For what? Crossword puzzles?

If there is a surplus, it seems the country would be better served re-distributing its wealth of agents to our southern borders, but that would not fit into this administration's "Bizzaro World," where logic is defied, and common sense is denied.

According to the Associated Press, this has nothing to do with a surplus of agents. Last month, border patrol offices across the country received discreet orders to cease routine bus, train and airport searches for illegal immigrants "soon after the Obama administration announced that, to ease an overburdened immigration system, it would allow many illegal immigrants to remain in the country," so it could focus on the deportation of illegals who have actually committed crimes.

I could incorporate some Bizzaro World humor here, but shall suppress the urge.

During his 2011 State of the Union address, Obama said he strongly believed "we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration."

Back in September, Homeland Security released a report suggesting they had deported a record-breaking number of illegals, but House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, (R-Texas), begs to differ.

In an Oct. 18, 2011 press release, Smith claimed the Obama administration "continues to inflate its deportation numbers" and "is cooking the books to make it look like they are enforcing immigration laws, when in reality they are enacting amnesty through inaction."

If the Canadian border were some super-secure perimeter where everything (and everyone) traversing its borders was given the utmost of scrutiny, lax security measures would not raise so many eyebrows.

But that is not the case. Back in 2009, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said although "the September 11th hijackers did not come through Canada to the United States, there are other instances, however, when suspected terrorists have attempted to enter our country from Canada to the United States. Some of these are well-known to the public — such as the Millennium Bomber — while others are not, due to security reasons."

With that in mind, it would make sense for the administration to strengthen the security of our northern borders. Canada is well-known for its lenient immigration policies, and, according to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada ranks second-highest in the world for active terrorist groups.

On Oct. 25, 2011, Canada's Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews, spoke about the ongoing "risk of violent extremism in a number of communities in Canada."

Many believe Canada has a dysfunctional refugee system that all but invites terrorists into its fold, because it is known as the easiest developed-world country for applicants to obtain refugee status, and allows them four years to roam, to and fro, while awaiting the legal process.

Rather than strengthening our security, it appears the administration is doing the opposite. (Bizzaro) After meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the White House made a "Beyond the Border" declaration on Feb. 4, 2011, stating his administration intends "to pursue a perimeter approach to security" to "enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services between our two countries" in hopes to "address threats before they reach our shores."

According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the yet-to-be enacted "Beyond the Border" program will launch a pilot program called "NextGen" sometime next year.

"Sometime next year" may not be soon enough, considering the potential danger lurking due north. And, "sometime next year" may be too soon to share a new "perimeter approach" with a country that does not share similar immigration views.

Meanwhile, border patrol agents sit idly by.

Susan Brown's column is nationally syndicated exclusively Cagle Cartoons newspap.