A U.S.-Canada border crossing has seen a staggering increase of more than 6,000 detained migrants from 76 countries so far this fiscal year – more than in the last decade combined, according to official data.
Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia sounded the alarm Wednesday about the Swanton Sector, which includes New York, New Hampshire and Vermont’s borders with Canada.
Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia sounded the alarm Wednesday, saying the border crossing in the Swanton sector was seeing unprecedented numbers.
“Over 6,100 arrests from 76 different countries in just 11 months, more than in the last 10 years combined,” Swanton Sector chief Garcia wrote on X. “Swanton Sector agents are resolute and determined to cross the line to maintain our 295 mile border.”
In all of 2020, there were only about 1,000 Border Patrol apprehensions in the region, compared to just 365 in 2021. The fiscal year runs from October to September.
The U.S.-Canada border has seen a staggering increase of more than 6,000 detained migrants from 76 countries so far this fiscal year
Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia sounded the alarm Wednesday, saying the border crossing in the Swanton sector was seeing unprecedented numbers
In 2020, there were only about 1,000 arrests by border guards in the region, down from 365 in 2021
By the end of July, there were 7,633 border crossings along the entire border. For the whole of 2022 there were 2,238 and for the whole of 2021 there were 916.
In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection deployed 25 additional officers to the northern border as the number of migrants arriving from Canada continues to rise.
Most migrants are Mexican, including many Guatemalans and Haitians, according to CBP data.
While illegal crossings remain a larger overall problem at the southern border, where more than 200,000 migrants cross each month, northern border crossings have recently been a cause for concern.
More than 39,000 refugees entered Canada through unofficial border crossings last year, the vast majority via Roxham Road, which connects Quebec and New York state.
It is the highest number since 2017 – when there was a spike due to then-President Donald Trump’s crackdown on migrants.
More than 39,000 refugees entered Canada through unofficial border crossings last year
Migrants from Mexico, Venezuela and other countries at the border with Canada
Migrants who make it to Mexico and can afford the $350 one-way ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto then enter the U.S. at the northern border, where they are less likely to be turned away than at the southern border.
This is an option that many migrants are choosing because of the raids at the southern border.
In early January, a Haitian man, Fritznel Richard, died north of the Swanton sector after freezing to death while trying to reach his wife in the United States.
“The Swanton Sector’s greatest concern in carrying out our mission of border security is the preservation of lives – the lives of the community residents we are sworn to protect, the lives of our Border Patrol agents who carry out this mission in the region every day.” Field and the lives of the individuals, families and children we are charged with arresting while attempting to circumvent legal immigration procedures,” Chief Garcia previously said.
Migrant families at the Roxham Road border crossing in Quebec
There are only 115 ports of entry on the U.S.-Canada border, and Garcia said the stations are overwhelmed due to the surge.
Kathryn Siemer, acting patrol officer in charge of the station in Pembina, North Dakota – one of seven stations in the Grand Forks sector – said the sharp increase in encounters is due in part to Canada easing its COVID restrictions.
Migrants could reach Canada and, if they were dissatisfied with their lives there, try their luck in the United States.
Another factor driving the increase is that Canada is putting up increasing barriers for migrants, said Frantz André, an immigration consultant who runs an organization that helps asylum seekers.
He told CBC that migrants believe they have a better chance of working in the U.S. undocumented.
Meanwhile, New York Mayor Eric Adams warned that the surge in asylum seekers would “destroy” the city.
Adams called on the federal government to “intervene” in the face of the crisis, saying the lack of intervention was leading people from “all over the world” to head to the border in hopes of ending up in the Big Apple.
He added that it will cost the city over $4 billion this fiscal year, and that’s without any help from the federal government. This amount represents the total budgets of the city’s sanitation, fire and parks departments