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Published at Friday, October 11th 2019, 12:10:03 PM. Maps. By Loree Roscoe.

The U.S. maintains immigration offices, called pre-clearance facilities, in eight Canadian airports with international air service to the United States (Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, and Winnipeg). This expedites travel by allowing flights originating in Canada to land at a U.S. airport without being processed as an international arrival. Canada does not maintain equivalent personnel at U.S. airports due to the sheer number of U.S. departure locations with Canada-bound flights and the limited number of flights compared to the number of U.S.-bound flights that depart major Canadian airports.

The total length of the continental border is 3,145 kilometers (1,954 mi). From the Gulf of Mexico, it follows the course of the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte) to the border crossing at Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas. Westward from El Paso–Juárez, it crosses vast tracts of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts to the Colorado River Delta and San Diego–Tijuana, before reaching the Pacific Ocean.

The Mexico–United States border begins at the Initial Point of Boundary Between U.S. and Mexico, which is set one marine league (three nautical miles) south of the southernmost point of San Diego Bay. The border then proceeds for 227 kilometers (141 mi) in a straight line towards the confluence of the Colorado River and Gila River.[8][9] The border continues southwards along the Colorado River for 39 kilometers (24 mi), until it reaches a point 20 miles south of the Gila River confluence. The border then follows a series of lines and parallels totaling 859 kilometers (534 mi). First, it follows a straight line from the Colorado River to the intersection of the 31st parallel north and 111th meridian west. It then proceeds eastwards along the 31st parallel.[9][10] It then proceeds northwards along a meridian 100 miles west of the point where the Rio Grande crosses 31 degrees 47 minutes north, and then eastwards along that parallel until it meets the Rio Grande.

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According to the International Boundary and Water Commission, the continental border then follows the middle of the Rio Grande—according to the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo between the two nations, "along the deepest channel" (also known as the thalweg)—a distance of 2,020 kilometers (1,260 mi) to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande frequently meanders along the Texas–Mexico border. As a result, the United States and Mexico have a treaty by which the Rio Grande is maintained as the border, with new cut-offs and islands being transferred to the other nation as necessary. The Boundary Treaty of 1970 between Mexico and the United States settled all outstanding boundary disputes and uncertainties related to the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte) border. The region is characterized by deserts, rugged hills, abundant sunshine, and two major rivers—the Colorado and the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte).

Ferry services operate between the province of New Brunswick and the state of Maine, as well as between the province of British Columbia and the states of Washington and Alaska. There are also several ferry services in the Great Lakes operating between the province of Ontario and the states of Michigan, New York, and Ohio. The ferry between Maine and Nova Scotia ended its operations in 2009, but resumed them in 2014. The Boldt Castle on Heart Island in the St. Lawrence River has a border control point on the island, but no specific location on the Canadian side.[citation needed] Canadians must present identification to land on the island.

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The Mexico–United States border (Spanish: frontera México–Estados Unidos) is an international border separating Mexico and the United States, extending from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east. The border traverses a variety of terrains, ranging from urban areas to deserts. The Mexico–United States border is the most frequently crossed border in the world, with approximately 350 million documented crossings annually.

Similar arrangements exist at major Canadian seaports that handle sealed direct import shipments into the U.S. Additionally, at Vancouver's Pacific Central Station, passengers are required to pass through U.S. preclearance facilities, and to pass their baggage through an X ray machine before being allowed to board the Seattle-bound Amtrak Cascades train, which makes no further stops before crossing the border. Preclearance facilities are not available for the popular New York City to Montreal (Adirondack) or Toronto (Maple Leaf) trains, since these lines have stops between Montreal or Toronto and the border. Instead, passengers must clear customs at a stop located at the actual border.

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