Washington on the Front Lines
KUOW 949 Seattle, February 24, 2010
The Radio Room in the Border Patrol Headquarters in Blaine, Washington looks just like a command center in a spy movie. There's a big wall covered with screens showing live video feeds, and workstations lined with monitors blinking with green text and mugshots. But the video screens don't show train stations where Secret Agent Jason Bourne might slip into a crowd and disappear. They show long stretches of country road, the parking lot of a minimart, even farmers' fields.
Bermudez: "You know some of these farms are right along the border and they'll have illegal incursions, they'll have drive–thru's, they'll have people, um smuggle drugs or run right over from Canada into the US into some of those fields."
Blaine is a town of about 4,000 people. It's right on Washington state's border with Canada. Mike Bermudez is a Supervisory Border Patrol Agent and Public Affairs Officer here.
Read the full transcript
Intro and OutroINTRO:
The Mexican border, with its tall fences and often-deadly world of coyotes and drug smuggling, gets more attention than our border to the north. But major terrorism suspects, like the Millennium Bomber and one of the men convicted in the 2002 Beltway Sniper attacks, have been arrested coming into Washington State from Canada. In 2005 authorities discovered a 360-foot smuggling tunnel under the border near Linden, Washington. Border Patrol arrests hundreds of people near the Canadian border every year. So today, producer Jessica Partnow is going to show us around this “other” border, the longest international border in the world.OUTRO:
Funding for this story was provided by the KUOW Program Venture Fund. In our next segment, we spend time with a family who’s been living with a deportation order for two years.
Funded by the KUOW Program Venture Fund.
Editor: Jim Gates
Additional Reporting: Sarah Stuteville, Alex Stonehill.
Photography: Eroyn Franklin