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Ian Bremmer addresses the audience at the 2024 US-Canada Summit in Toronto.

David Pike

American and Canadian voters yearn for something they might never get

Is there a deep, secret yearning from American and Canadian voters for a radically open border? Do people really want Canada and the US to be more like the EU? OR, is border politics all about isolationism, security fears, and building walls? The results of an exclusive new poll from GZERO and Data Science will surprise you – and ought to be shaping the election campaigns in both countries.

We revealed part of the poll at the US-Canada Summit that I had the pleasure of co-hosting in Toronto, put on by the teams at Eurasia Group and BMO. Led off by our own Ian Bremmer and BMO’s CEO Darryl White, it included a remarkable collection of over 500 people, including political leaders from across the spectrum in both countries who debated, speechified, conversed, and argued.

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A US-Canada border crossing and monument.

Reuters

The United States has another border crisis – with Canada

Former Republican nominee hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy was mocked for his proposal during one GOP debate to build border walls with Mexico and Canada.

The problems at the southern border are well-documented. In January, US Border Patrol reported 124,200 encounters with migrants trying to enter the country illegally – and that is a 50% drop from previous months. It is an issue that may cost Joe Biden the election: A Pew Research poll suggested 80% of those surveyed think he is doing a bad job at handling the migrant influx.

Less well-known is that northern border states like Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire are reporting their highest rates of illegal migration in years. Canada is seen as a stepping stone to the US by human smuggling organizations – and it has the added benefit of no border walls or razor wire.

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