U.S. presidential candidate proposes building a border wall with Canada

Article content

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy leaned on a Canadian idiom during Wednesday’s debate when he proposed a border wall between the U.S. and Canada.

Claiming to be the only candidate who had visited the northern border, Ramaswamy said that the U.S. needs to “skate to where the puck is going, not just where the puck is,” echoing a quote made famous by Wayne Gretzky.

Article content

“There was enough fentanyl that was captured just on the northern border last year to kill three million Americans,” he added.

The U.S. border with Canada spans 8,891 km and is the longest international border in the world. Per U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data, 0.9 kilograms of fentanyl were seized at the northern border in fiscal 2023, down from 6.3 kilograms in 2022 and 9.9 kilograms in 2021.

Related Stories

For fiscal 2023, U.S. CBP and the Office of Field Operations seized about 12,245 kilograms of fentanyl with 98.9 per cent of those seizures occurring at the southern border. 

Still, Ramaswamy has leaned into the talking point in recent weeks

“It’s not ‘Build-the-Wall’ anymore,” he posted on X last month. “It’s Build *Both* Walls.”

Article content

Ramaswamy is also not the first presidential candidate to float the idea of a northern border wall.

In 2015, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said the idea was “legitimate” and something he’d heard about while campaigning in New Hampshire.

“They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings,” he said. “So that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”

Less than a month later, Walker dropped out of the 2016 presidential race.

Canada, for its part, had been grappling with a surge of migrants entering Canada from the U.S. at Quebec’s Roxham Road, which is about 50 kilometres southeast of Montreal, for the past several years.

More than 100,000 migrants have entered Canada at the unofficial border crossing since 2017.

In September, the RCMP dismantled its last building at the site, where they had built infrastructure to deal with the influx of asylum seekers.

RCMP Sgt. Charles Poirier told reporters that the structures were no longer needed as the number of migrants using the crossing had dwindled.

The numbers dropped after the U.S. and Canada agreed to expand the 2004 Safe Third Country Agreement in March, making the deal apply to the entire border, rather than just official border crossings.

There were also reports of people crossing from Canada into the U.S. at Roxham Road, sometimes hours after landing at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.

Our website is the place for the latest breaking news, exclusive scoops, longreads and provocative commentary. Please bookmark nationalpost.com and sign up for our newsletters here.

Share this article in your social network