Why Scott Walker wants to wall off Canada (and five things that might stop)

Scott Walker's poll numbers have slumped ever since Donald Trump entered the race. But even Trump hasn't paid much attention to the nation's northern border. 

Mic Smith/AP
Republican presidential candidate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, gives a foreign policy speech on the campus of The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 28, 2015.

GOP presidential hopeful Scott Walker on Sunday indicated that a wall along the US-Mexican border might not be enough physical protection for the nation. In response to a question from NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Face the Nation,” Governor Walker said that a fence along the northern, US-Canadian border is something “for us to look at."

“Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire,” said Walker.

“They have raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So that’s a legitimate issue for us to look at,” Walker added.

Is Walker trying to trump Trump? That may be the impetus behind his response here. The Wisconsin governor appears to be a casualty of Donald Trump’s rise, as his poll numbers have slowly deflated and his campaign has appeared to lack direction and energy ever since The Donald declared.

“Walker has slowly fallen back into the pack of more than a dozen seeking the [presidential] nomination,” writes Scott Bauer of the Associated Press.

Walker had expected to do well in the key caucus state of Iowa, for instance. It’s a Wisconsin neighbor and its GOP electorate skews conservative, like Walker himself. But he’s now tied with Ted Cruz for third in Iowa, with eight percent of the vote, according to the latest Des Moines Register/Bloomberg News poll. Trump leads, with 23 percent, and retired surgeon Ben Carson is second, at 18.

In an effort to jump-start his stalled effort, Walker has adopted a number of Trump’s high-profile positions. In particular, he’s talked much tougher on immigration, saying that Trump’s plan to bar and deport undocumented immigrants is similar to his own.

Even Trump hasn’t paid much attention to the nation’s northern border, however. In raising this issue, Walker’s out there, alone. Is that sound you hear Walker supporters face-palming?

“Comments like this strike many Walker loyalists as too focused on chasing the hot issue of the day,” write Dan Balz and Jenna Johnson of The Washington Post.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t serious US-Canada security concerns. Since 9/11, the northern border has been increasingly militarized with surveillance cameras, drone over-flights, and tighter passport control at crossing points.

But experts estimate that only about two percent of the people who enter the US illegally come via Canada. Better coordination between US and Canadian law enforcement and immigration authorities might be the best way to handle the existing problem, suggests the Boston Globe. A fence might be impractical, given that the northern border is three times longer than the southern one.

But what if, against all odds, such a fence went up? After all, the Canadians might help erect it – they’re very nice, and they have lots of concerns about what the US is exporting to them.

In that spirit, here are five things the fence might stop:

Undocumented maple syrup. Canadian maple syrup production is in essence controlled by a government cartel. Sometimes rogue producers or outright thieves ship their products to the US. Let’s stop this possibly inferior pancake sweetener at the border.

Poutine. A Canadian dish of French fries and cheese curds covered with gravy. Is it food or wall paste? The jury is out.

Wanna-Biebers. Justine Bieber, an Ontario native, has already infiltrated US music. It’s too late to stop him, but maybe a fence will keep the next generation of Bieber wannabes out of the States.

Rob Ford. Next to Rob Ford – the former mayor of Toronto – Donald Trump looks like Aristotle. Ford has admitted smoking crack “probably in one of my drunken stupors," for instance. We’ve got enough problem politicians, thanks.

Cold. Canadian weather is a security threat to the US. Have you seen those huge cold fronts massing at the border in winter weather maps? They’re just itching to pour down and freeze US pipes from Maine to Maryland. If we build the fence high enough, maybe we can block the cold out. Boston – the next Fort Lauderdale. 

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