Your Dec. 23 article, “Canada’s Lapses Kept Algerian Suspect Free,” about the recent arrests at the Canada-U.S. border, may have contributed to a misperception that Canada is doing less than its fair share in protecting both our countries from terrorists. On the contrary, Canada is the United States’ best ally in the fight against terrorism. Within hours of the arrests, our law enforcement agencies launched a major joint investigation that identified and linked suspected terrorists across the continent.
Canada and the United States share the same concerns about terrorism and the two-way movement of terrorists between our countries. When it comes to denying admission to, or removing, foreign terrorists, Canada has one of the most aggressive immigration laws in the world, which is strictly enforced. Canada aggressively identifies, refuses admission to and deports known and suspected terrorists. The United States cooperates more closely on counterterrorism with Canada than with any other country in the world.
It has been widely reported that a large number of terrorist organizations have adherents in Canada. But these same organizations are also present in the United States. This is the price that Canada, like the United States, pays for being a free and democratic country with a strong commitment to human rights and the rule of law. Against this background, the best enforcement strategy against terrorists is one that focuses key screening efforts jointly at our two countries’ external borders.
Consul General of Canada