The Border Patrol Station at Walhalla is one of 16 such facilities in North Dakota along the border with Canada. It is operated by the Department of Homeland Security’s Custom Border Protection (CBP) Division. The aging facility at Walhalla was upgraded in 2009 as part of a $1 billion effort to upgrade security along the northern border. This has provided both enhanced security and improved conditions for those crossing at its location where scenic North Dakota Highway 32 intersects with the Canadian border.
The Role of Border Patrol Agents in Walhalla
As part of efforts to increase security in the wake of 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security has made a tremendous effort to improve the condition of border crossings across the border shared with Canada. Part of this effort has involved the hiring of a large number of additional Border Patrol agents. The ranks of these agents have been increased 6 fold in the period from 2001-2012.
The jobs of Border Patrol agents in Walhalla involve protecting the U.S. public from potential aggressors crossing the border from Canada. One of the main concerns of the Department of Homeland Security has been the possibility of terrorists or other violent extremists entering from Canada. Suspected terrorists have been detained at other parts of the northern border. To prevent this from happening, those who seek to cross the border at Walhalla are rigorously screened to ensure that they are U.S. citizens.
In 2008, both the U.S. and Canada instituted a rigorous policy of ensuring that those who attempted either country are citizens. This involves being required to produce a photo ID and having proof of citizenship.
Additionally, Border Patrol agents inspect cars and trucks crossing at Walhalla to make sure that drugs, weapons, or people are not being smuggled into the U.S. Drug smuggling across the border from Canada has been a serious issue as smugglers try to bring Ecstasy, potent marijuana, and other drugs into the U.S. The monitoring of commercial trucks has been made easier by the requirement that the manifests be provided to the Border Patrol electronically.
Another potential threat to the U.S. from border crossings is to U.S. agriculture from potential pests and pathogens that can be brought across the border in items such as fruits, vegetables, and meat products. Agricultural inspectors monitor the importation of such goods to protect the country’s agricultural producers from this possibility.