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House Republicans aim to make Canada-U.S. border part of national security debate

US group worried about increased human and drug trafficking along the northern border
A border marker is shown just outside of Emerson, Man., Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. A group of Republicans on Capitol Hill is turning its gaze towards Canada as it ramps up political criticism of President Joe Biden’s immigration strategy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Republicans on Capitol Hill have formed a new caucus to focus on immigration, crime and national security at the Canada-U.S. border.

Rep. Mike Kelly from Pennsylvania and Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke have enlisted 26 fellow members of Congress for a new coalition called the “Northern Border Security Caucus.”

Kelly and Zinke, who will serve as co-chairs, have described the group as bipartisan, although currently no Democrats have answered the standing invitation to take part.

Kelly says the group is worried about the increased human and drug trafficking along the northern border, as well as a shortage of Border Patrol agents.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported nearly 56,000 encounters with inadmissible individuals near the Canada-U.S. border during the first four months of fiscal 2023.

That’s more than half the total for the entire 12 months of fiscal 2022.

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