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Senator Clinton Once Again Pushes for Northern Border Coordinator

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is once again calling for the appointment of a northern border coordinator to oversee security along the US-Canadian border.

Senator Clinton is pushing legislation that would create the coordinator's post within the Department of Homeland Security. Clinton says the northern border has been shortchanged by the federal government. She said a controversial proposal that would require US and Canadian citizens to show a passport to cross the border is the latest example.

"There is no one in the Department of Homeland Security who is the point person for northern border issues," Clinton said. "It would help us enormously if we could pick up the phone, call that person and say, 'wait a minute -- this passport idea may not be the best. Let's work together to see how we can achieve our objectives.'"

Besides the passport controversy, Clinton said there are a number of other outstanding issues that a northern border coordinator would concentrate on.

"There is the whole issue of whether Americans who are stationed on the Canadian side of the border could carry firearms or not," Clinton said. "Plus, who is responsible for areas that are largely uninhabited along the northern border?"

Clinton's previous attempts to create the new position have failed. But she said yesterday the controversy surrounding the passport proposal should boost the chances of getting it passed this time.