Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Troubles on the Canada-US border

Since the 9/11 attacks, the United States has been tightening its border controls, and border patrol agents have been more likely to follow the letter of the law, even in situations where a strict interpretation may not make a lot of sense. The casualties have been people living in border regions, places where history, culture, family ties, and day-to-day business activities were all cross-border in nature.

One such region: the Maine-New Brunswick frontier, a region traded back and forth between the U.S. and Britain in the decades after the American Revolution, and one where both sides of the border were settled by the same waves of Anglo-Scots settlers (in the southern two-thirds of the shared frontier) or Francophones (along the northern third.)

My piece on this topic ran earlier this month at Global Post. It's in the Passport section, so you may be prompted to subscribe. Therein, read about efforts to deal with a golf course cut in half by the border, a Canadian island cut off from Canada, a wilderness area where canoeists can no longer use half the campgrounds, and a remote hamlet where the church is on one side, the post office on the other, and the border post in between closes at night and all weekend long.

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