Moving to Canada, eh?
© Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Let me start by saying to those of you who have dual citizenship, please take note! We are jealous.

The first thought that came to mind in our current election climate when we talk about U.S.-Canada relationships is, of course, the threat to build a wall along the Canadian border as proposed by former presidential candidate and current Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R). The second thought was, will Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump walks tightrope on gun control State Department's top arms control official leaving Sanders NASA plan is definitely Earth first MORE (R-Texas) move back to Canada? Although that may be difficult since he renounced his Canadian citizenship. Maybe Cruz is "loonie" after all.

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For those of us who live adjacent to the 3,987-mile U.S.-Canada border, excluding Alaska, we consider the border "open." I choose the word "open" because we have no fences but plenty of technology deployed for detection of incursions. For those of us who have Canadian heritage (my grandmother was born in St. Jean, Quebec), I rue the day when my father failed to take advantage of securing his own dual citizenship, which might have opened the door for me to become a dual citizen.

The relationship between the United States and Canada is truly a unique one. As I said, we have thousands of miles of essentially open border, have not had a war for well over 200 years and have very few disputes that are not resolved on practical terms in a civil manner. We have had a few disappointments along the way. The current issues regarding soft wood lumber and the Keystone XL pipeline have certainly created frustration, but by and large, this is a uniquely positive relationship. The Canadians have been our strong allies starting with World War II and continuing with Korea, Vietnam and various Mideast conflicts. They have stood next to us and supported our military and our foreign policy. We are one another's largest trading partners, and we have established unique relationships that exist between no other two countries when it comes to trade. NAFTA is one example, but more important examples are the Beyond the Border Agreement and the Regulatory Cooperation Council, which go well beyond the legal terms of NAFTA and are intended to develop even further streamlined trade relations and a more secure border. Recently, we have entered into a Preclearance Agreement, and while it requires the enactment of legislation in both countries, there is serious work being done to accomplish that goal. All this goes toward making our combined security and economies stronger.

So why would I suggest moving to Canada? It is more a reaction to a YouTube video showing a Canadian building a wall to keep us out, and in many presentations that I have made over the past six months in Canada, to groups large and small, the idea of U.S. politics, and in particular the election of Trump, is truly unsettling and unnerving; it appears, to our Canadian friends, that we have stepped off the edge. Dozens have said so.

If you are thinking about immigrating to Canada, I am not sure the election of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump's top adviser on Asia to serve as deputy national security adviser United Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' MORE would qualify you for political asylum, but maybe it is worth a try. If you have skill sets that Canadians need, that might work. If you are willing to invest substantial sums in Canada, that might work, too.

I am not suggesting that any Americans seriously consider moving, but the thought provides a little bit of comic relief as we trumpet in the presidential election.

Owens, a former member of Congress representing New York's 21st District, is a partner in the firm of Stafford, Owens, Piller, Murnane, Kelleher & Trombley, PLLC, in Plattsburgh, N.Y.