Recent Publications

Exchange Rates and Border Crossings in the Cascade Gateway

Border Policy Brief, Winter 2015

Recent declines in the value of the Canadian dollar have caused much speculation about the influence of exchange rates on the economy in the Cascade Gateway region. This Border Brief highlights both qualitative and quantitative characteristics of cross-border travel patterns in our region. Such patterns may provide insight into future impacts associated with a weakened loonie and a strengthened U.S. dollar.

Comparing U.S. and Canadian Foreign Worker Policies

Border Policy Brief, Summer 2014

Both the U.S. and Canada are increasingly relying on foreign workers to fill a variety of jobs, particularly in lower-skilled positions. Over the last decade, Canada has expanded its Temporary Foreign Worker Program considerably, which prompted major policy changes in 2014. The U.S., however, continues to limit foreign worker visas and to rely heavily on unauthorized immigrants to fill labor needs. This article explores these highly controversial policies, which are important to understanding broader debates about immigration reform occurring throughout North America.

Pilot Project: Using RFID to Reduce Border Queues

Border Policy Brief, Spring 2014

Lengthy queues still exist at the Cascade Gateway crossings, despite many post-9/11 investments. This article proposes a regional pilot project that would place RFID-enabled passport cards into the hands of about 75,000 Canadians. Various evidence shows that such a pilot would lead to greatly diminished border queues, at a relatively low cost.



Housed at Western Washington University, the Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) is a multi-disciplinary institute that undertakes research that informs policy-makers on matters related to the Canada - U.S. border. Priority focus areas are trade and transportation, economics, environment, immigration, and border security. The University established the BPRI to further a mission of promoting research, academic programs, and public programming on critical policy issues affecting the Pacific Northwest. The BPRI works closely with cognate programs at the University and collaborates with many public and private entities within the Pacific Northwest.

Events & News

Arctic Forum

May 14, 2015

BPRI and The Center for Canadian-American Studies will host a forum for scholars to discuss the transition of the Chairmanship of the Arctic Council from Canada to the U.S., which is scheduled to occur in May, 2015. Details to follow.

Representative DelBene visits BPRI

March 12, 2015

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, a member of the Northern Border Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, met with BPRI and other key stakeholders to discuss cross-border issues in our region.

Border Crossing Air Emissions Survey

November 2014

BPRI has completed the second portion of a fieldwork project at the Pacific Highway border crossing to collect data related to border wait times and air emissions. This data represents the northern border portion of a parallel study conducted at the U.S.- Mexico border and is part of a broader project being undertaken by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.


Thesis Fellowship

Apply for a BPRI thesis fellowship! Fellows receives a full graduate stipend and tuition support for one quarter, as well as $500 to be used toward research supplies or travel. Graduate students enrolled at Western and pursuing thesis research related to the BPRI's mission are eligible to apply. Applications for a fellowship may be submitted at any time.