After Sharron Angle told a group of Hispanic children at Rancho High School that 9/11 terrorists entered the U.S. from America's northern border, Canada's ambassador to the U.S. has sent a letter to Angle correcting her.
Asked on Friday about a campaign ad that focuses on illegal immigration, Angle said, as part of her response, "What we know is that our northern border is where the terrorists came through. That's the most porous border that we have. We cannot allow terrorists--we cannot allow anyone to come across our border if we don't know why they're coming. So we have to secure all of our borders and that's what that was about, is border security. Not just our southern border, but our coastal border and our northern border."
The 9/11 Commission Report affirmed that none of the hijackers to the U.S. from or through Canada. Apparently it's not so uncommon a misconception: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made a similar slip on April 2009.
Ambassador Gary Doer corrected Angle and asked her to set the record straight in a letter to the Senate candidate. Doer wrote to Angle today:
Republican Candidate for the U.S. Senate
1280 E. Plumb Lane, Suite C
Reno, NV 89502
Dear Ms. Angle,
I am writing to correct the record following media reports on Friday quoting you as saying: "What we know is our northern border is where the terrorists came through. That's the most porous border that we have."
There have been no terrorist attacks on the United States coming from Canada. None of the 9/11 hijackers entered the United States from or through Canada. Extensive investigations by U.S. law enforcement authorities have established that all the hijackers entered the United States directly from third countries- not Canada- with visas issued by American diplomatic missions overseas.
The 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 and a report on Canada-U.S. Relations of May 15, 2007, by the Congressional Research Service both confirmed that "none of the 19 September 11 hijackers entered (the United States) by Canada".
Canadian and American Authorities work together 24/7 to address and thwart threats to our collective security. There are a number of examples of joint efforts between our law enforcement and intelligence agencies successfully identifying and disrupting threats to our two countries on both sides of the border. This is a testimony of the strength of our relationship. We do not have a "porous border" but rather one of the more secure borders in the world.
Far from being a threat, Canada is a major contributor to economic prosperity in your state. More than 1.3 million visitors from Canada visited Nevada in 2009, creating tens of thousands of jobs, and Canada-Nevada trade totalled more than $1.3 billion. In fact, the Las Vegas Tourism and Convention Bureau Association has recently opened three sales offices in Canada and most major Canadian cities have direct flights to Las Vegas.
I can assure you that Canada takes border security very seriously and trust you will see fit to set the record straight.