Published at Friday, October 11th 2019, 10:22:25 AM. Maps. By Shawna Mickles.
The Canada–United States border (French: frontière Canada–États-Unis), officially known as the International Boundary (French: Frontière Internationale), is the longest international border in the world between two countries. It is shared between Canada and the United States, the second- and fourth- largest countries by area, respectively. The terrestrial boundary (including portions of maritime boundaries in the Great Lakes, and on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic coasts) is 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi) long, of which 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) is Canada's border with Alaska. Eight Canadian provinces and territories (Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick), and thirteen U.S. states (Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine) are located along the border.
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.
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).
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 Mexico–United States border extends 3,145 kilometers (1,954 mi), in addition to the maritime boundaries of 29 kilometers (18 mi) in the Pacific Ocean and 19 kilometers (12 mi) in the Gulf of Mexico.
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.
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.