Editorial: Security at border is only part of solution

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 30, 2001

As the fallout from Sept.

Tuesday, October 30, 2001

As the fallout from Sept. 11 continues, there is a new effort to step up security along the 5,500-mile border between the United States and Canada, a span that is patrolled by only 300 officers. Since some of the terrorists apparently entered the country through Canada, it’s natural that the border would become a concern, but without other measures to keep bad guys out of the country, more border security will be a waste of money.

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The federal government also must act to keep terrorists and other unsavory characters from entering the country legally. Nine of the Sept. 11 terrorists were on the level, here to study or work. Many of them had backgrounds that would suggest involvement in terrorism. If the United States wants to keep terrorists out, it must boost its efforts to notice those kinds of warning signs before letting somebody in legally.

The same should go for Canada. As one of our staunchest allies, the Canadian government may be willing to be more careful about who gets into that country, as well. These are the kinds of international efforts that will be necessary to thwart a new kind of international menace.

Border security is something to think about, especially here in Minnesota. But strengthening the border with Canada is only a small part of keeping the country safe.