Border crossing, new bridge plan topics during Homeland Security visit

- New Homeland Security Director John Kelly made a stop in Detroit Monday talking international trade, the new bridge to Canada and more.

"This is a very different border than the other one," Kelly said.

Kelly was at the Ambassador Bridge praising the efforts of agents working to keep the nation safe.

"Every one of them works tirelessly every day to protect the nation from any number of threats and they are in fact, real threats," Kelly said.

But Kelly, here at the request of Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan) also discussing the importance of commerce - not just security.

"Commerce is key, " Kelly said. "Trying to thin the border even more than it is to allow even faster movement across the boundary."

A boundary where hundreds of billions in exports and imports cross between Michigan and Canada each year.

"This is the busiest border crossing in North America," said Sandy Baruah, CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber. "The smooth flow of people and goods is absolutely critical."

Baruah says that flow will be even smoother once the Gordie Howe Bridge is built.

"If we don't have that new bridge and something happens to that grand old Ambassador Bridge that's 35 years past its life span, we're going to have real problems in Michigan - let alone the rest of the country," said Baruah.

"There's no job more important for the federal government than to keep us all safe," Peters said. "And so Homeland Security will be playing a critical role in that new bridge."

Senator Peters also committed to improvements at the Blue Water Bridge and the Soo Locks - committing to bipartisan support for infrastructure.

The Trump administration has talked about investing in infrastructure," Peters said. "I think you can bring Republicans and Democrats together and accomplish this kind of investment. There is no question that the Soo Locks has to be at the top not just for the state but the entire country."

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