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November 29, 2016

King Participates in Classified Briefing on Northern Border Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) participated in a classified briefing held before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to discuss the security situation along the Northern Border. Senator King, who is not a member of the Subcommittee, was invited to attend the briefing along with senators from other Northern Border states.

Senator King and his colleagues were briefed by high-ranking officials from the U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement on threat reporting, smuggling and trafficking trends, border security technology requirements, and staffing in remote locations. The briefing follows the Senate’s recent approval of bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator King – the Northern Border Security Review Act – which requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct a comprehensive examination of the current resources and personnel levels and fully evaluate security threats and challenges at the border.

“The Northern Border with Canada is not only the longest border in the United States, but it’s the longest border between any two countries in the world – which means that it requires robust resources and personnel to secure it from those wishing to enter the our country illegally, smuggle drugs here, or conduct other unlawful activities,” Senator King said. “Many remote areas in Maine are on the front lines when it comes to border security, and today’s briefing, along with my continued conversation with border patrol officials in Maine, are part of an ongoing discussion about how we can support the agencies and people working on the ground to bolster our border security and protect Maine people.”

Today’s classified briefing featured witnesses from several government agencies working on border protection, including Mark Morgan, the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol; Derek Banner, Deputy Executive Associate Director of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement; and Raymond Villanueva, International Operations Assistant Director of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.


At 5,500 miles long – including 1,500 miles between Alaska and Canada – the Northern Border has 120 border crossings, many of which are small and in rural areas. Approximately 300,000 people and $910 million in trade cross the Northern Border every day, representing the largest bilateral flow of goods and people in the world.

The Senate recently passed the Northern Border Security Review Act, which would require a comprehensive examination of the following issues:

  • Recruiting and retaining border security officials to cover the Northern Border, including at more remote areas of the border;
  • Determining tools border security officials need to effectively combat drug and human trafficking at the Northern Border;
  • Identifying technology that could expand the reach of border agents; and
  • Finding vulnerabilities in cooperation between Canadian, state, county, local, and tribal law enforcement.


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