A sector of the U.S.-Canada border has seen a staggering increase of more than 6,000 migrants from 76 countries detained so far this fiscal year — more than the last 10 years combined, officials say .
Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia sounded the alarm Wednesday about the Swanton Sector, which covers New York, New Hampshire and Vermont’s borders with Canada.
“Over 6,100 arrests from 76 different countries in just 11 months, surpassing the last 10 years combined,” Swanton Sector Chief Garcia posted on X. “Swanton Sector officers are resolute and determined to maintain the line across our 295 miles of border.”
In all of 2020, the region saw only about 1,000 Border Patrol arrests, and in 2021 only 365. The fiscal year runs from October to September.
The entire border had seen 7,633 crossings at the end of July. This is already more than in the whole of 2022, where there were 2,238 arrests, and in the whole of 2021, where there were 916.
The U.S.-Canada border has seen a staggering increase of more than 6,000 migrants from 76 countries detained so far this fiscal year – more than the last 10 years combined.
Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia sounded the alarm Wednesday, saying the Swanton sector border crossing was seeing unprecedented numbers.
In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection transferred 25 additional agents to the northern border as the number of migrants arriving 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 each month, crossings to the north have recently raised concerns.
More than 39,000 refugees entered Canada last year via unofficial crossings, the vast majority via Roxham Road linking Quebec and New York state.
This is the highest figure since 2017, when there was a surge due to President Donald Trump’s crackdown on migrants.
The entire border had seen 7,633 crossings at the end of July. This is already more than in the whole of 2022, when there were 2,238 arrests.
In 2020, the region saw only about 1,000 Border Patrol arrests, and in 2021, only 365 arrests.
More than 39,000 refugees entered Canada last year through unofficial crossings
Migrants who arrive in Mexico and can afford a $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto then cross the northern border into the United States, where they are less likely to be returned only at the southern border.
This is an option chosen by many migrants due to the crackdown at the southern border.
In early January, a Haitian man, Fritznel Richard, died just north of the Swanton area, freezing to death while trying to join his wife in the United States.
“Swanton Sector’s greatest concern in carrying out our border security mission is the preservation of life – the lives of the community residents we are sworn to protect, the lives of our Border Patrol Agents who carry out the day-in and day-out mission in the field, and the lives of the individuals, families, and children we are charged with apprehending as they attempt to circumvent legal entry procedures,” Chief Garcia previously said.
The U.S.-Canada border has only 115 entry points, and Garcia said the stations are saturated due to the surge.
Migrants from Mexico, Venezuela and other countries at the Canadian border
Migrant families at the Roxham Road border crossing in Quebec
Kathryn Siemer, acting patrol agent in charge of the Pembina, North Dakota, station — one of seven stations in the Grand Forks sector — said the sharp increase in encounters was partly due to the relaxation of restrictions. COVID-related restrictions by Canada.
Migrants have been able to travel to Canada and, if unhappy with their lives there, try their luck in the United States.
Another factor driving the increase is Canada imposing increasing barriers to migrants, said Frantz André, an immigration consultant who runs an organization that helps asylum seekers.
He told CBC migrants believed they would have a better chance of working undocumented in the United States.
Meanwhile, New York Mayor Eric Adams warned that the influx of asylum seekers would “destroy” the city.
Adams pleaded with the federal government to “step up” in the face of the crisis and said 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 said it would cost the city more than $4 billion this fiscal year, and that’s without any help from the federal government. This amount is equal to the budgets of the city’s sanitation, fire and parks departments, combined