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New Hampshire, Quebec sign border security agreement

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New Hampshire and the Canadian province of Quebec signed a “historical security agreement” to address border security.

Gov. Chris Sununu and a representative from Quebec, Laurence Gagnon, signed the agreement Monday in response to “new challenges related to cross-border security emerge,” including a rise of “illegal border crossings.” The governor says it is the first border security “arrangement” between the state and a foreign territory.

A cooperation agreement between the state and province was initially signed in 2004, the latest is an update to the agreement reflecting new language addressing the crisis at the northern border.

During the signing, Sununu lauded Canadian leadership while underscoring the need for cooperation in addressing border security.

“Quebec is an incredibly important friend, neighbor, and ally,” said Sununu. “I would like to thank Premier of Quebec François Legault and his team for updating our cooperation agreement to include additional language on border security – an issue that affects both of our citizens.”

The updated language reads: “AWARE of the emergence of new issues related to border security, notably the important migratory flows in North America’s northeastern region, and wishing to collaborate on finding solutions to these issues while respecting the principles of privacy, civil liberties, and human rights.”

The agreement states the two parties agree to “combine their efforts to better protect their shared borderlands; take a joint leadership role in matters related to security within the framework of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference.” It also includes the partnership “encourage exchanges” with law enforcement in addressing “common public issues and ensure greater safety in border regions” in relation to recent “migratory flows.”

The partnership also agrees to expand “collaboration in penal proceeding” with Northeastern partner states to “conduct joint exercises and training to enhance and evaluate these collaborative efforts.”

The Center Square reported the U.S. border patrol stationed along the Swanton sector apprehended over 1,100 in March, a record number of illegal border crossers, according to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.