HARRISON (WWJ) – Northern border security will take a big step forward in Macomb County on Thursday, as the Department of Homeland Security will officially open a new operations center at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. 

Eleven surveillance stations along the St. Clair River from Gull Island to Port Huron will monitor illegal movement at the U-S Canadian border.

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The opening of the center comes on the heels of a federal analysis which cited holes in northern border security. 

Michigan Congresswoman Candace Miller, an advocate for stepped up northern border security, said our northern border has received nowhere near the attention of American’s boundary with Mexico.

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The high-tech intelligence facility housed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base was part of a project launched in 2009 to create what Homeland Security calls an operational integration center.

It is a US-Canadian border security effort with the primary focus to work with the FBI and local law enforcement to combat drug smuggling and human trafficking across the border.  

The surveillance and intelligence gathering will be part of the Customs and Border Protection unit.

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Advocates for increased security say the new operations will lead to greater cooperation among law enforcement in detecting illegal border crossings and making arrests.