|Published: 10-30-2023 8:36 AM
George Bruno is the former US Ambassador to Belize and currently practicing immigration law in Manchester.
Recent action by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and his Attorney General John Formella to showboat an increase of border patrol enforcement 10 fold and expend $1.4 million of NH tax money is way over the top and unnecessary. Let’s remember that NH only borders Canada for 58 miles, virtually all of which is heavy forest, with the exception of a small country road crossing at Pittsburg.
Not only is there a complete absence of evidence that there is an illegal immigration problem along the NH border, it is hard to understand the use of these expensive NH resources. What is the plan? Perhaps NH state police running around in the woods with dogs and guns, taller barbwire fencing snaking through the pine trees, the creation of a NH drone ops center, or digging trenches and building border towers for NH Nation Guard lookouts? Let’s remember, NH state authorities have no jurisdiction to arrest illegal border crossers. Border protection is the job of the federal government. So is immigration.
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security built an entirely new border crossing facility in Pittsburg, complete with coiled barbed wire strung out for miles, flood lights, tree top surveillance, electronic monitoring and state of the art communication equipment. As far as known, Customs and Border Protection is fully staffed and doing its job along the NH border.
This recent action follows an announcement on Oct. 10 by Attorney General Formella that he is joining a coalition of 27 attorneys general in a legal filing demanding the federal government fix unlawful immigration policies and secure the border. In doing so, NH is aligning itself with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida and other Trump acolytes to churn up support for his presidential campaign. It is sad to see NH in such company.
Alternatively, it would be far more productive for Gov. Sununu to join our congressional delegation and the coalition of advocates calling for comprehensive immigration reform currently stalled in Congress. Instead of posturing with the Trump states, the need to update our asylum law, remold our policies to aid the needs of US businesses, help unify divided families, reduce the backlog in immigration courts, and come up with a bipartisan solution for our southern border could not be more urgent.
Meanwhile, let’s all keep a sharp eye out for any Canadians trying to slip across the boarder to buy cheap NH alcohol.