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Vermont town decries security changes

Aug. 24, 2008 at 4:17 PM   |   Comments

DERBY LINE, Vt., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Some residents of a Vermont town say recent border security efforts in their community on the U.S.-Canada border has stirred "hate and discontent."

Derby Line, which has a shared library with the neighboring Canadian community of Stanstead, has had lettering painted on three side streets: "Canada" on one side, "U.S.A." on the other. Then came an influx of U.S. Border Patrol agents who chased motorists who ignored signs telling drivers to use official entry points.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that there was a proposal last year to erect fences on the town's small streets to officially barricade the United States from Canada.

"They're stirring up a little hate and discontent with that deal," said Claire Currier, who grew up in the border area. "It's like putting up a barrier. We've all intermingled for years."

The changes are part of an effort that began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The so-called Secure Border Initiative calls for more than tripling the number of agents along the northern border, as well as adding boats and helicopters, and deploying sophisticated new technology.

"It was freer before, but we live in a different world now," said Mark Henry, the operations officer at the Border Patrol's Swanton Sector in Swanton, Vt.

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