Specifically, they argue here that there is a greater threat of terrorists crossing the Northern border from Canada than the Southern border from Mexico.
Frankly, some of the reasoning employed here is relatively sound:
There are a number of reasons for this. First, the border with Canada, as noted above, is much longer and less well manned than the one with Mexico.
And, quoting the Houston Chronicle:
The United States has only 1,000 agents to patrol the 4,000-mile northern border, compared with 10,000 agents monitoring less than half the distance along the Mexican border, U.S. officials say.
On the other hand, some of the other arguments are standard right wing crap. Quoting right-wing crap master Stewart Bell from the National Post:
The list of specific government failures is extensive, from an immigration system seemingly incapable of deporting even known terrorists, to laws that have proven ineffective at shutting down charities and ethnic associations fronting for terror. But it all stems from a political leadership unwilling to take a stand and secure Canadians and their allies from the violent whims of the world's assorted radicals, fundamentalists, and extremists.
However, what the RCP lads are particularly huffed about is that their new buddy, Conservative PM Stephen Harper, is not convinced that a identity card system to meet U.S. border concerns is necessary:
[Harper] said he is hopeful that the Americans will come to see that the passport requirement will not enhance security significantly but will have significantly hurt trade and tourism.
The RCP Blogger Tom Bevan concludes:
Clearly, we have to find a balance between economic and security interests with both Canada and Mexico. But as far as the threat of terrorism goes, I continue to be more concerned about our exposure from the North.
With respect to the identity card/passport requirement, the only real question (the one Harper raises) is whether it will do any good. Passports are not hard to forge, and not hard to get legitimately. The requirement will therefore be useless, especially if likely terrorists from Canada are going to be, as CSIS has argued, of the home-grown variety (ie. Canadian citizens).
On the other hand, you have hundreds of Canadian citizens (mostly white, mostly middle-class) whose only reason to cross the border is to see a Buffalo Bills/Buffalo Sabres game. Many of these will not, will actively refuse to, acquire the appropriate documentation. I know several people who have insisted they will never visit the U.S. again; they see the requirement as an insult to the nation.
So Americans have to ask themselves: is this new passport requirement a practical step in securing the Northern border, or is it another thinly veiled swipe at Canada for not supporting their stinking Iraqi war? Should border security issues be decided by logic and reason, or petty vengeance?
We report, you decide.