- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference Thursday that the Trump administration is trying to station troops on the U.S.-Canada border.
- The measures would be temporary and, according to Global News, aim to prevent illegal border crossings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Trudeau said his government opposed the idea and said it was "very much in our interest" to keep the US-Canada border "unmilitarized".
- President Donald Trump previously stationed troops on the U.S. southern border to aid in surveillance, but far fewer people cross the U.S.-Canada border.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on Thursday reports that the Trump administration will temporarily deploy troops near the U.S.-Canada border to prevent illegal crossings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
At a press conference, Trudeau told reporters that his government had "talked" to the White House on the matter. He added that Canada opposed the idea.
"Canada and the United States have the longest unmilitarized border in the world, and it is in our best interest to keep it that way," said Trudeau, adding that the lack of border militarization "has benefited both our countries and both" economies , and we believe that it has to stay that way. "
Canada Global news was the first to report and cite sources of US-Canada border discussions, stating that troops would be located approximately 18 miles from the border and would use remote sensors to mark cross-border commuters.
– Power and politics (@PnPCBC) March 26, 2020
CBC News reports that the White House wants to place 1,000 soldiers on the border.
Both Canada and the United States have already closed much of the common border to combat the spread of the novel corona virus. Neither country does not prohibit essential travel.
The Trump administration has previously stationed troops on the U.S.-Mexico border, but only as a surveillance force, as the military prohibits U.S. law enforcement.
Global News reported that an operation on the U.S.-Canada border would be similar, with troops monitoring the sensors and passing the information on to border guards to make arrests.
There are usually not a large number of people entering the U.S. illegally from Canada.
Customs and border protection data show that only 4,408 people were arrested on the U.S. northern border in fiscal year 2019 – about half of them Mexican nationals and the rest from countries around the world.
The number of crossings pales in comparison to the southern border of the United States, where 851,508 people were arrested during the same period.