The Places Where Sneaking Over the US-Canada Border is Legal

This video was made possible by Brilliant. Learn with Brilliant for 20% off by being
one of the first 200 to sign up at brilliant.org/HAI. So let’s say you want to sneak into the
US, or, maybe, out of the US, but let’s also say that you don’t want to break any
laws since you’re looking to become Mayor and then Senator and then President and then
turn the US into your own little fiefdom where hand dryers are banned, upside-down toilet
paper is illegal, and slow walkers are jailed, and since having a record is bad for politics,
law abidance is a must.

For that, here are a bunch of places where
you can legally cross the border between Canada and the US with no passport, no customs, and
no immigration. Starting at the eastern end of the US/Canada
border, the first legal sneaking site is many miles north near Presque Isle, Maine, which,
as it turns out, is neither an isle or very presque to anything. Now, this golf club, except for its parking
lot, is all located just over the border in Canada. This position was quite precisely picked as
it was originally established during America’s prohibition era and this way, American members
could go to the clubhouse, which was in Canada, and legally get their sesh on. Nowadays, because of this, 18-year-olds can
get tipsy before tee-time, but it also creates problems as the border is now more rigidly
enforced. You see, the only road to the club is just
over the border in the US and there is not, of course, a border crossing checkpoint in
their parking lot.

Since there is no way out of the club except
through America, Americans are therefore allowed to just park in the lot, walk over into Canada
to play a round of golf, and then walk back into America. For Canadians, however, it’s a little more
complicated. The Canadian who lives here, for example,
has to drive all the way down to the next border crossing and then back up to get to
the course. In the summer, however, there’s a temporary
Canadian border crossing here allowing people to pass back into Canada via the most direct
route, although, since there’s no corresponding American station, they still have to take
the detour to get to the club. Moving on, though, way up north there’s
the town of Estcourt, Maine/Quebec. This town is pretty well bisected by the border
which leads to a lot of oddities. For example, there’s this gas station in
the US which is quite popular given the lower cost of top quality American gasoline—lovingly
freed from oppression by the American military. To legally get to this gas, though, from the
Canadian side, you’re expected to drive down to here, the nearest American border
crossing, go through customs and immigration, drive back through Canada to the gas station,
fuel up, then drive back through Canada to the Canadian station and check back into Canada.

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Elsewhere in the town, though, there are these
houses—cleanly split in two by the border. This has some advantages. Parents can rank their kids and decide whether
they get the Canadian or American bedroom. That way the good kid will get a low-cost,
high-quality university education, and the bad kid will get drafted to fight in the great
US Executive Branch – NOAA Civil War of 2020. To evade complications, though, the policy
with these houses are that, since the only road to get to them is Canadian, they can
live how they like to on their property and then, if they were to go to a part of the
US that was not their backyard, they would have to check in at the nearest US border
station.

Way, way west of there is the St. Regis Mohawk
Reservation. Thanks to an 18th century treaty, there are
no restrictions on crossing the border within it. For example, there’s this town which is
split in two by the border, however there are absolutely no border controls. In that case the town in conveniently on a
peninsula, however, the situation is even stranger a bit down the line at Cornwall Island. You see, the station to enter Canada used
to be here, on the island, however, in 2009, the reservation’s government put up a fight
against the Canadian border agents desire to be armed at their post like their American
counterparts, and so it was moved to here, on the mainland, even though Canadian territory
starts here.

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Therefore, coming from the US, you can drive
onto this island, walk around, shop, and do whatever you want in Canada without having
officially entered it immigration-wise. Legally, though, what you’re then supposed
to do if you want to re-enter the US is drive north through the Canadian border station,
turn back around, cross Cornwall Island again, and go through the US border station. Apparently, if you don’t and they catch
you, you’ll get a hefty $5,000 fine, but this also means that to go to either the US
or Canada, the residents of Cornwall Island have to go through a border checkpoint. Way, way, way down the line in North Dakota
and Manitoba is the International Peace Garden where crossing the border is not only tolerated,
but encouraged.

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Crossing there is so easy—it’s like a
walk in the park. Built as a symbol of the peaceful relationship
between the countries, this symmetrical garden is cleanly bisected by the border and when
strolling though you can cross it as much as you want. Even further west is a similar story at the
Peace Arch, which is located at the main border crossing for those driving between Seattle
and Vancouver. This is also an international park meaning
anyone from either side is allowed to get out and cross the border as much as they want. This is most influential not actually at the
arch itself, but just to its east where there’s a large field and playground. For the Canadians living in this neighborhood,
this is a popular dog and kid-walking spot and, because of these unique regulations,
they’re able to turn their walk international without any immigration requirements, as long
as they go back to Canada once the deed is done.

In conclusion, the rules at all these places
is kinda like the rules with murder. You could physically murder someone, nothing’s
stopping you, but it’s still illegal. You could also physically cross the border
and not go back in these places, but it’s still illegal. In these places, they just happens to use
the honor system—not for murder, that is, but border crossing. You see, what they probably did was figure
out the probability of someone illegally crossing in these spots, the cost it would take to
secure the border, and figured that cost wasn’t worth it. Of course, to do that they probably needed
a solid understanding of probability. To learn that, they might have used Brilliant. In my opinion, Brilliant’s probability courses
are probably some of the highest fun to learning ratio activities you can do. It really just seems like you’re doing puzzle
upon puzzle, but it turns out that they actually sneakily taught you a thing along the way.

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