We entered Canada last week using the Peace Arch crossing just north of Bellingham, WA. We returned via the Lynden, WA crossing (the BC province twin is Aldergrove). It must be one of the smallest crossing booths but I was impressed to see our car surrounded by 6 different cameras (or likely sensors).
Before we drove yesterday I checked wait times at each of the crossings in the vicinity. Nice to see traffic via Google Maps and live videocasts conveniently available here
The officer made small talk while he scanned our passports. If we had NEXUS cards we could have had it scanned by a proximity card reader. To qualify for one, as I did for my Global entry card, you go through biometric and other passport and document scans. For cars selected for “secondary inspection” and for freight trucks there are more elaborate Gamma Ray and VACIS (Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System) scanners and portable radiation detectors.
Of course, our borders both in the North and South are way bigger than the formalized crossing areas so we are using infrared cameras, mobile surveillance trucks, motion sensors and satellite scanning.
It is a daunting task, and I felt grateful we were able to our both crossings in less than 20 minutes.