border security

WATCH: Biometrics at the border

Jan 20, 2016

Recent events like the San Bernardino shooting have focused attention on visa violations and border security.

But before politicians began calling for greater vigilance, plans were already underway to step up screening at one crossing.

Border agents in San Diego are now testing biometrics to screen who's crossing the border.

CBP

I used to cross the US-Canada border so often, it felt like “Anything to declare, ma’am?” was playing on repeat in my mind.

My all-time favorite encounter was on a bus trip with my sister from Toronto to Cleveland, when one of the Customs guys in blue noticed my Jamaican heritage listed in my Canadian passport and asked, “Are you bringing over any ackees?”

(Video after the jump.)

CBP

With the four international bridges in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Lewiston, New York handling 18 million cars and trucks a year, it’s no wonder the front-line officers have stepped up their security game.

Destiny USA

Business leaders are joining with several New York members of Congress who oppose the idea of introducing a fee for visitors crossing the border into the U.S., citing the importance of Canadians to upstate New York’s economy.

The Department of Homeland Security says the proposed border crossing fee would help generate revenue, and wants to fund a study of the idea as part of its 2014 budget.

But business owners on this side of the border worry it would reduce tourism and hurt business.