Posted on September 11, 2023

US-Canada Border Has Seen a Staggering 6,100 Migrants From 76 Countries Apprehended This Year

Germania Rodriguez Poleo, Daily Mail, September 8, 2023

A sector of the US-Canada border has seen a staggering surge of more than 6,000 migrants from 76 countries detained so far this fiscal year – more than the last decade combined, according to officials.

Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia sounded the alarm on Wednesday about the Swanton Sector, which covers the New York, New Hampshire and Vermont borders with Canada.

‘Over 6,100 apprehensions from 76 different countries in just 11 months, surpassing the last 10 years combined,’ Swanton Sector Chief Garcia posted on X. ‘Swanton Sector Agents are resolute and determined to hold the line across our 295 miles of border.’

In all of 2020, the region saw only about 1,000 Border Patrol apprehensions, and in 2021 just 365. The fiscal year goes from October to September.

The entire border has seen 7,633 crossings as of the end of July. That’s already more than in all of 2022, when there were 2,238 apprehensions, and for all of 2021, when there were 916.

In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection transferred 25 extra agents to the northern border, as the number of migrants crossing in from Canada continues to rise.

According to CBP data, most of the migrants are Mexican, with many Guatemalans and Haitians.

While illegal crossings at the southern border remain a larger overall problem, where more than 200,000 migrants cross every month, the northern crossings have recently been causing concern.

More than 39,000 refugees entered Canada last year via unofficial crossings, the vast majority via Roxham Road linking Quebec and New York State.

It is the highest number since 2017 – when there was a spike because of then-President Donald Trump’s crackdown on migrants.

Migrants who make it to Mexico and can afford the $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto then cross into the U.S. at the northern border, where they are less likely to be turned away than at the Southern border.

It’s an option many migrants are taking due to crackdowns at the southern border.

At the beginning of January, a Haitian man, Fritznel Richard, died just north of the Swanton Sector, having frozen to death while trying to reach his wife in the US.

‘Swanton Sector’s greatest concern in carrying out our mission of border security is the preservation of life – the lives of community residents we are sworn to protect, the lives of our Border Patrol Agents carrying out the mission day-in and day-out in the field, and the lives of the individuals, families, and children we are charged with apprehending as they attempt to circumvent legal processes for entry,’ chief Garcia previously said.

The US-Canada borders has only 115 ports of entry, and Garcia said stations are saturated due to the surge.

Kathryn Siemer, acting patrol agent in charge of the station in Pembina, North Dakota – one of seven stations in the Grand Forks sector – said the sharp spike in encounters was due in part to Canada loosening its COVID restrictions.

Migrants have been able to make their way to Canada, and, if unsatisfied by their life there, try their luck in the US.

Another factor driving the increase is Canada placing increasing barriers on migrants, said Frantz André, an immigration consultant who runs an organization that helps asylum seekers.

He told CBC migrants believe they may have better chances of working without papers in the US.