The Northeast

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The Maine - Canada Border: Back into Calais

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July 23, 2015 —
On my last day in Canada, I head back across the border. I don't feel nervous this time, just sad that my trip has to come to an end already.

This time, there is a ½ hour wait as I sit in traffic. I stare at this spot and when realize I am cusping two countries, I lean over and snap this photo with my camera phone (above).

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Just before I drive onto the bridge, I look around to take in everything around me. It strikes me how serene this park at the edge of the border looks, compared to the Southern Border into México.


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This babbling brook that runs under the bridge where I sit waiting in line to cross into Calais is so beautiful. I can't help but notice the extreme contrast of this scene and the dry Rio Grande that separates border towns between Texas and New Mexico, and also between the US and Mexico.


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As I sit and wait at the border, I spot these two agents and remember what a guide at the Calais Visitor Center told me when I ask what type of jobs people seek out in this border town. The federal government and specifically jobs with the Custom Border Patrol (CBP) are plentiful. Local residents get first choice to take the federal exam and then apply for these jobs, but CBP agents from across the country also move here to take these jobs.

I ask whether the locals resent that non-residents come to Calais for these jobs, and I am told that they are fine with this. With the many jobs available in this area that include the federal government, migrant field work and the paper mills residents in both Canada and Northern Maine welcome the additional laborers. It keeps the manufacturing plants humming and fields picked clean so that local products can be sold to keep up with the demand across the country.


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My mind wanders back to the present as the line begins to move. I notice that the check in station is much, much smaller than its counterpart on the Mexican border. After a brief stop at the sign below, I pull up, show the Border Patrol guard my ID and enter back into U.S. soil. He welcomes me back into America, waves and wishes me well.


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I continue my trip back down into Southern Maine feeling satisfied, happy and rested.


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