US border agents are moving to the northern border with Canada

US border agents are moving to the northern border with Canada

On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) transferred 25 additional agents to the northern border as the number of migrants crossing into the United States from Canada continues to increase.

According to NBC News, some of these agents had previously been assigned to the southern border. Although illegal crossings at the southern border remain a larger overall problem, the number of crossings at the northern border has risen nearly 850% and is causing concern.

This is a problem that works both ways as some migrants are also sneaking into Canada from the U.S., causing a spike in immigration numbers for America’s northern neighbor. Canadian leaders are demanding to speak to President Joe Biden about the problem.

The CBP spokesperson told NBC that their agency began temporarily deploying Border Patrol agents from sectors that were “not experiencing an influx” to the Swanton Sector of the U.S.-Canadian border due to migration fluctuations along the Northern Border.

The Swanton Sector, which includes sections of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York, experienced an 846% increase in apprehensions from October 2022 through this January compared to the year before. Agents apprehended 367 people in January, which they say is more than they encountered since 2011 combined.

The average annual number of encounters in the Swanton Sector over the last twelve years is just 28.

The Swanton Sector is a 2,200 square mile area with USCBP agents based in Swanton, Vermont. There is no fencing along the crossing, and much of the area is woods and dirt paths. Heavy snowfall and wetlands are present across the region this time of year.

Nearly two-thirds of the southbound migrants arrested by U.S. border agents in the Swanton Sector are from Mexico, according to USCP numbers.

Representative Elise Stefanik, whose New York district is on the border with Canada, wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas last month to complain about the problem. She said CBP agents reported 2,238 migrant encounters for all of fiscal year 2022, but in the first four months of this fiscal year, migrant encounters have risen to 2,227, which is nearly surpassing last year’s total.

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.

However, hypothermia and freezing to death are risks, particularly this time of year, as families are making the journey on foot in the cold and snow. In December, U.S. border agents found themselves giving life-saving aid to migrants they found in the cold and snow. The problem works both ways as migrants also walk across the border from the United States and into Canada.

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.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier this month that he plans to discuss the border problems with Joe Biden when the president visits Ottawa in March. Trudeau wants to rewrite the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), which allows for anyone trying to cross the Canada-U.S. border in either direction to be sent back to the first of the two countries they arrived in, with few exceptions. Still, the agreement does not cover unofficial border crossings like the Roxham Road route, a dirt path that is seeing a growth in migrant traffic.

“That will certainly be a conversation that we will continue to have with the U.S. administration, including at the visit of the president,” Trudeau said. He noted

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