Border Entry Fee Draws Northern Opposition

A proposed US border fee has drawn opposition from those living in the northern portion of the country.
A proposed US border fee has drawn opposition from those living in the northern portion of the country.

A proposed border entry fee into the United States has drawn strong opposition from those living along the northern border. Many small businesses rely on Canadian entry into the U.S. for a large portion of their income. Canadians are likely to cross into the United States in order to purchase cheaper goods, primarily gas, but also beer, wine and milk.

The price of gas is astonishingly cheaper in the United States compared to Canada, about $1.30 per gallon, so it stands to reason that Canadians living near the United States border would be willing to travel into another country in order to purchase their fuel. According to Michael Hill, a gas station owner in Washington state, about 90% of the people filling up at his station come across the border from Canada. He even has a ‘Thank You Canadians’ sign hanging in his store. Beer, wine, and milk are all about half the price on this side of the border.

With a percentage as high as Hill claims filling up, the Canadians crossing into the country make up a large part of the economies in these cities. With a gas tax of only a penny, small towns along the border can easily generate 30% of their street maintenance funding from their neighbors in the north.

A fee to cross the border was proposed as part of President Obama’s 2014 Fiscal Year Budget as a way to generate funds for border operations. This measure has faced criticism from both sides, and a countermeasure recently passed unanimously through the House of Representatives. The Department of Homeland Security has requested they be given nine months to study the potential impact of a fee.

Members of the local towns fear that if such a fee is implemented, that the money raised wouldn’t stay with them. Northern opposition to the proposed border entry fee is drawn on the fact that border security is a national issue. They feel that a solution to border issues should be something that affects the entire country rather than one that would only hurt the many small towns along the border.

Many locals such as Michael Hill feel that the United States should welcome in the business of its neighboring countries, especially when our own economy is still recovering from a devastating recession.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has sponsored a bill that would bar the Department of Homeland Security from conducting its study. This would mark a victory for the strong northern opposition and its efforts to block any sort of border entry fee from being drawn up and implemented. A similar bill was proposed in the House.

However if one were to move to the Southern half of the United States and ask around the Mexican border, the attitudes would be starkly different. Both lawmakers and citizens in the South such as democratic congressman Ruben Hinojosa have said that they would support an entry feeĀ “only if the funds garnered would be used to upgrade our facilities, provide better equipment for our agents, or used for the hiring of more agents at our border crossings.”

This isn’t the last we’ve heard of this debate, as the proposed border entry fee has drawn a line in the sand between those on both U.S. borders, garnering southern support and northern opposition. Who ultimately wins, and whether a fee is ever put in place remains to be seen.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille

The Guardian Express

12 Responses to "Border Entry Fee Draws Northern Opposition"

  1. Makuye   May 27, 2013 at 10:55 am

    my comment was placed above that to which I refer.

  2. Makuye   May 27, 2013 at 10:54 am

    it appears that my own comment was not acepted:
    Since this comment column is not monitored, I would like AL of you to read that first comment:
    Is this the way you would like your nation to be? Is this what you, too beieve?
    Is this the way you think?
    Is this what you would accept as friend?
    as neighbor?
    as the friend of your children?
    as the husband of your daughter?
    Should such a person be allowed a gun?
    Consider this.
    What education creates this?
    What concept of government creates this opinion?

  3. Makuye   May 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Since this comment column id unmonitored, it would be a very good idea for Americans to read the first comment .
    Is THIS what you want your nation to be like?
    Your neighbor?
    Should this guy be allowed a gun?
    your kids friend? your daughter’s husband?
    Who are you that you grow this?

  4. phrank   May 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Are you kidding me? Drug running mexicans and mexican whores with a dozen bastards can run across the border and get a laundry list of freebies good americans have to jump through hoops for but good canadians travelling here to spend good money will have to pay? Screw obama, somebody should give him the jfk treatment.

  5. WELLMAN DIGGORI   May 27, 2013 at 9:57 am


  6. ork99   May 27, 2013 at 9:55 am

    lol. Canadians like to brag about their free health care but apparently they are perfectly willing to cheat their govt out of the needed tax money by buying in the US.

  7. John   May 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

    $1.30 per gallon??????

    • Cupertino Jay   May 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

      > $1.30 per gallon??????

      Nice catch John. Guessing, the author intended to write Per Liter.

      • Victor   May 27, 2013 at 10:09 am

        Yes it is $1.30 cheaper per gallon. Not per liter. In other words, Canadians pay $1.30 more per gallon than USA folks.

        • Cupertino Jay   May 27, 2013 at 10:19 am

          You’re probably right Victor.

          But a casual reading of the text can be taken as *either* 1) $1.30 savings per gallon, or 2) sold for $1.30 per gallon. Eh?

          > “The price of gas is astonishingly cheaper in the United States compared to Canada, about $1.30 per gallon.. “

  8. Cupertino Jay   May 27, 2013 at 9:44 am

    > A proposed border entry fee..

    per person, or per vehicle? and in either case: how much (the first year)?


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