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Guns, like narcotics, can be used as payment in lieu of cash.
And there are also the illegal aliens, heading both ways.
Last week Border Patrol spotted three South Koreans walking down the railroad tracks in Blaine. They were subsequently arrested once they crossed into the U.S.
Illegal aliens usually cross the border on foot.
"For the most part they are guided in on trails," said Bates.
Bates said many illegal aliens use Canada as a stopping ground before heading south to their ultimate destination.
But they are also crossing in the other direction.
"The truth is, the number one refugee applicant in Canada is Mexican," said Bates.
Many of these people must be getting into Canada illegally through the U.S., he said.
Bates is hoping that the new camera system will put a dent in the flow of illegal traffic, both in people and goods, across the western end of the border.
If it does, the illegal trade will eventually start to move away from the west coast.
"If we do a good job in the Pacific Northwest it will start moving east and then heading south," said Bates.
"As we guard this border, we have to look both ways."