A Mexican man named Jose Leos Cervantes died on February 19th after crossing the U.S. border near Stanstead in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec. Leos Cervantes and his family had moved to Toronto less than a year ago in search of better pay and work conditions. However, Leos Cervantes lost his job two months prior to his death and struggled to find another job that could pay for their rent over the winter months. The couple has three children.
One of Leos Cervantes’s daughters posted on Facebook last week about her father’s death, asking for donations to repatriate his body to their home city of Aguascalientes in central Mexico. Since October, U.S. border agents have intercepted 1,513 people in the Swanton Sector, a stretch of the border from the New Hampshire-Maine state line to the western edge of St. Lawrence County in New York state.
This number is 42% higher than the year ending in October 2022, during which agents stopped 1,065 people.
Leos Cervantes’s death occurred less than two months after the death of Fritznel Richard, a 44-year-old Haitian man whose frozen body was found more than a week after he attempted to cross by foot into the United States on December 23. Like Leos Cervantes, Richard had also struggled to make ends meet in Canada. U.S. border patrol agents for the Swanton Sector said recently that the 115 people they apprehended over one week in February were from 12 different countries, mostly from Mexico.
They also urged people not to risk their lives by attempting to cross the border during dangerous weather conditions.