Collin Peterson waves off Joe Lieberman's concern about northern border security

Peterson pooh-poohs northern border security worries.

Peterson pooh-poohs northern border security worries.

Sen. Joe Liebermann has his shorts in a bunch over a new report that says the Department of Homeland Security's Border Patrol effectively controls 32 of our 4,000-miles frontier with the Canucks.

"Alarming!" Lieberman says. "We've got to work together with our neighbors in Canada to raise our guard."

Meh, says Rep. Collin Peterson, whose district partly borders Canada.


"The reality is we haven't had a problem," and he suspects the Department of Homeland Security is just using some scare tactics to help shore up its budget for the coming fiscal year.

"If anybody came across there.... Well, everybody knows everybody else. The local people would pick up on this faster than anyone from Homeland Security."

DHS spent about $3 billion investigating illegal northern border activity last year, making 6,000 arrests and confiscating about 40,000 pounds of drugs. Those arrests represent all of about 1.3 percent of those on the southern border, according DHS.

There's no talk about a border wall yet, but Lieberman wants President Obama to broach the subject of Canadians being required to have visas if they want to cross into the United States. Along with other security measures added since 9/11, that idea doesn't thrill companies responsible for roughly $2 billion a year in cross-border trade.