The land in question involves an aboriginal reserve that has a border going through it.
Canada used to have its border post at the physical border. But felt that this allowed too much smuggling with the reserve all around it.
So the feds move the border post inland: at the border of the reserve and the rest of Canada.
As a result, the “correct” procedure to enter the Canadian side of the reserve is to:
1) exit USA
2) drive past your intended destination to the border post (I suppose they could create the world’s largest duty free or free trade zone)
3) drive back to wherever you were going.
My understanding is that moving the border post had more to do with poor community relations. It became too much of a hassle to maintain it on Akwesasne land:
Everything else either:
1. Compromises the border. (If you don't care about the border, then this point is, of course, negotiable.)
2. Draws an arbitrary geopolitical line, that benefits two super-powers, at the expense of the rights and freedoms of a nation, that has been there long before the existence of Canada and the United States, and will likely remain long after.
 Actually, it's not even clear if there are any benefits to the current state of affairs.
 Think Germany, being split in half by the East/West border - or the Berlin wall. It sure as hell wasn't built for the benefit of the Germans.
Canada has a very different culture than the US. Examples:
* compare types of crimes, and rates of crimes in major Canadian cities versus major US cities
* existence of many "socialist" policies, which all work on the following: "you contribute a small amount uniform across all citizens, to the national piggy bank, and the national piggy bank doles out to those in need (which may very well be you, but hopefully not, because things are likely not going to be in a good place for you then)"
* existence of media which would be "drowned" out by the US, if it weren't protected/supported by the government (e.g. CBC)
* different viewpoint on how to integrate minorities and First Nations so that everyone can prosper, together---partially because of the way history played out (not because "we're better")
* different take on nationalism
I actually get the US's immigration concerns. I really wouldn't want Americans flooding into Canada (no offense, but yeah, there are just major cultural issues which would need to be fixed first, otherwise the majority will just "win out").
Reading my post, I begin to realize that it could be taken very negatively. I want to convey the fact that my parents chose to immigrate to Canada, and not the US, for a reason. We would feel really weird if the countries somehow started to "integrate" further, unless it was Canadian "culture" that dominated. Otherwise, I am not sure if home would feel like home anymore (I don't feel like an outsider in Canada, but I often do feel like an outsider when I visit the US).
Immigrants who arrive to the country are usually extremely grateful, and willing to integrate into the bigger picture, or at least, that's the vision that Canada seems to operate under. This seems to create lower levels of "tension", less "ghetto-ization", and so on. I think that's the biggest culture difference between Canada and the US: most people aren't constantly thinking about the worst that could happen, and the worst generally doesn't happen.
I might be totally wrong. Scratch that: I really hope I am totally wrong.
It's funny. I asked a friend of mine if she would oppose open borders with Canada, and she said that the US couldn't afford to deal with all of the Canadians that would flood into the United States. So which is it? I feel like this is a reflexive conservative argument that all of these X are going to come to our country and change our culture and take our stuff. Why is the first one bad, and is there even any evidence for the second?
Meanwhile, we're all leaving money on the table because of our fears: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17382400
I assume that the theoretical open borders policy you’re describing would still leave in place immigration restrictions, so I don’t see why the rush of Canadians would overwhelm the U.S. (since they can’t work legally).
I see at least a couple big road blocks though. First, both Canada and the U.S. impose selective tariffs and restrictions on imported products from across the world. An open border would effectively allow venue shopping, as products imported to Canada would find themselves in the U.S. and vice versa. Even for local products, Canada standards for e.g. cheese seem like they would be much harder to enforce. Second, both Canada and the U.S. choose who to admit to the county based on their own polices (criminal backgrounds, specific blacklists, etc.). These would have the same problem with an open border.
An open border would effectively require a lot of these policies to be unified for Canada and the U.S., much like the E.U. While there are benefits, that’s a lot of autonomy to give up.
The same can't be said of the US and Canada. The incredible amount of regulatory capture in the US makes them unlikely to reconcile those aspects of their society with the rest of the developed world any time soon.
The thing is that they mostly consider themselves independent. I'm not sure such a vote would get a meaningful result, and it would probably raise tensions rather than lower them.
The land these people live on is not of vital importance to either country. As such, we should be doing right by the people who live on it.
If it will never be re-split, then it's a de-facto annexation. In which case, I'd prefer that the residents vote on it.
Considering how inconvenient it is in some geographies and how small the patches of land are, I'm always surprised the State Department doesn't negotiate a land exchange treaty with Canada to fix what are essentially cartography bugs.
Both sides would spend a few tens of millions compensating people for land seizures and dealing with the administrative overhead of negotiating and ratifying the deal but would gain it back over time with simplified border stations.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEed-o8fVpM (possibly nsfw)
That seems like a perfect area that could be part of your land exchange idea. All the teenagers there end up going to school in Canada anyway. There's only one crossing between Point Roberts and Canada.
Have you seen how much cheaper auto parts are in USA?
If I had to guess they were using relatives' houses claimed as their actual residential address. This has been a problem in Vancouver recently with people claiming false residence addresses to register their kids for the "good" elementary schools in yaletown and kitsilano.
>Canadian kids are allowed to attend Delta's school district.
> That same year, a 16-year-old [...], 10th-grader <redacted>, allegedly smuggled $25,000 US worth of marijuana across the Peace Arch border on school buses designated to transport Point Roberts students to Blaine, Wash., schools.
lol, but makes me wonder where/how they picked up their stock.
The smuggling issue is not just something that takes place on the Akwesasne area of the St. Lawrence, either. It happens throughout the Thousand Islands.
Eventually Ontario and Quebec (and a few other provinces) dropped their tobacco taxes to remove the incentive to smuggle.
Obviously different times. However, the increase in taxes in the US made even higher taxes in Canada possible.
But they're often manufactured in Ontario now and find their way around.
Currency exchange rates can play some element.
New York State already has a lot of domestic demand for untaxed tobacco now that they're upped their taxes (again).
At the time you could apply for an I-68 pass allowing boaters to report in by phone when doing short, innocuous crossings like this (with some restrictions, i.e. the trip is less than 72 hours and you stay within 25 miles of the shoreline).
It was super convenient. I wonder if a system like that could work here?
The part that’s missing in the article is that the reservation is a major hub of smuggling and various frauds.
It looks like Point Roberts needs an 8-mile tunnel and the Northwest Angle needs an 11-mile tunnel. Causeways would probably work too.
Many tribal practices of native peoples were and are incompatible with western legal systems. This is in part because the western legal system developed as an affirmative rejection of tribal law and customs. To take the example of England: Angles, Jutes, Saxons & Normans are all known to us; and the people are still here; but the scope of their tribal laws gradually narrowed as the framework of English law developed.
The notion of "equality before the law" gradually expanded individual rights and identity to a point where few of us recognise any tribal affiliation and led to uniquely open societies.
To make it like aristocracy the rule should apply recursively, you are a Mohawk if 50% of your ascendants are Mohawks as defined by the same rule.
Both towns are fascinating as well. Worth a visit in the summer/fall.
though politically unlikely, this would be the most practical.
in order to enter the reservation from the US side you need to be cleared to enter canada but you are not actually leaving the US until you leave the reservation on the canadian side.
the reverse process from the other direction.
people who live in the reservation never need to cross any border checking. it also means you are only able to enter the reservation if you are allowed to stay in the US and in canada. not a problem for locals, but maybe for tourists who eg. have a visa for canada but not for the US.
it would also mean that the stricter laws of both countries would apply. no guns in the reservation as per canada's laws for example...
> On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.
Frankly, I enjoy this "topic"; people post interesting things that I would have never otherwise learned about. Particularly Wikipedia articles; for example, I learned about Pando, one of the largest organisms on Earth: it is an Aspen grove occupying 106 acres, but it's still a single thing. To me, that was mind blowing the first time I read it; I wouldn't have ever recognized such a thing even if I were there in person.