Border crossings from Canada into New York, Vermont and N.H. are up tenfold. Local cops want help.
Category: News & PoliticsVia: perrie-halpern • 3 days ago • 53 comments
By: Julia Ainsley and Didi Martinez
On the snowy border between New York and Canada, the local sheriff's office is calling for the U.S. Border Patrol to put more manpower behind what the locals call a growing crisis: The number of illegal border crossings in the area over the last five months is nearly 10 times what it was over the same time last year, and the border crossers are in danger of freezing to death.
From Oct. 1 to Feb. 28, about 2,000 migrants crossed the border between Canada and New Hampshire, Vermont and New York south through the forests, compared to just 200 crossings in the same period the previous year.
The migrants are mainly from Mexico, and they can travel to Canada without visas before they cross illegally into the U.S., often to reunite with their families.
Last weekend, Clinton County, New York, Sheriff David Favro's team assisted Border Patrol in rescuing 39 migrants, some whose clothes had frozen to their bodies.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent apprehends seven Mexican citizens near Mooers, N.Y., who had crossed into the U.S. from Canada illegally on March 7.U.S. Border Patrol Swanton Sector
"We are seeing more and more people, and it can be a deadly terrain if you're not familiar with it," Favro said.
He said responding to rescues like that has taxed the resources of his department, already stretched thin to cover the residents of his rural county, population 80,000, which shares about 30 miles of border with the Canadian province of Quebec.
"The only way to really be able to cover and protect [the northern border] is boots on the ground," Favro said.
Just last week, Customs and Border Protection added 25 agents to the area, the Swanton Sector, to deter migration. But Favro and other locals who spoke to NBC News in Mooers, New York, said that's not enough.
Mooers Fire Chief Todd Gumlaw said he recently helped rescue two Mexican women stuck in an icy swamp in the middle of the night. Gumlaw, along with Border Patrol, local police and EMS workers, was able to render first aid and get the women to a hospital to be treated for frostbite and mild hypothermia after they lost their shoes in the swamp, he said.
Locals and the U.S. Border Patrol in Mooers, N.Y., use human snow tracks, pictured Monday, to determine whether migrants had recently crossed the area.NBC News
"Preservation of human life is first and foremost with my department. We put [immigration status] to the back of our mind," Gumlaw said.
The Mooers/Champlain region is a clump of small blue-collar residences and farms, where, according to locals, "everyone knows everyone" and properties can be several blocks apart, adding a sense of unease among some of the locals witnessing the mass migration in the region.
According to local first responders, southbound migrants often seek shelter in empty sheds and barns to shield themselves from the cold.
April Barcomb, a Mooers resident, said she has had migrants show up at her doorstep and is now saving up for security cameras.
"It's not something I would usually do," she said. "But it makes me think twice. And with the kids and the family, I gotta install cameras."
While most locals who spoke to NBC News said they understood that most migrants crossing the region aren't threats, neighbors are keeping their eyes open for unusual activity.
"People are scared," a Champlain County resident said. "It's the fear of the unknown. They're [neighbors] worried about their safety, because they don't know these people."
Most of the migrants are Mexicans, who are frequently blocked from crossing the southern U.S. border and believe they will have an easier time if they fly to Canada and then cross into the U.S. from the north.
According to a CBP spokesperson, the Swanton Sector has been the site of more than 67% of all migrant crossings at the northern border across all eight sectors through February.
Unlike the southern border, where over 16,000 Border Patrol agents are responsible for staffing roughly 2,000 miles, about 2,000 border agents patrol the 5,000-mile border between the U.S. and Canada, which includes Alaska's land boundaries, making it the longest international land border in the world.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, asked Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a letter Tuesday to step up enforcement along his state's 51-mile border with Canada or allow his police forces more authority to do so.
"Over the last few months, the State of New Hampshire has attempted to assist the federal government in securing our northern border. These offers of assistance have been repeatedly rejected. The Biden administration has cut funding and hindered the state's ability to assist in patrolling the northern border," Sununu said.
A spokesperson for CBP said the additional agents who were just sent to the Swanton Sector will help deter migration.
I wonder how many will die from hypothermia
There are probably far more that don't care.
It did not used to be a problem
We obviously don't have borders any longer.
Vote for Trump in 2024.
Trump will completely seal off our northern border like he already did with our southern border.
He will build another wall and make the Canadians pay for it.
These people must not understand the racism, income inequality and religiously backward country they are going to.
Lol but they do understand that it is really f'n cold where they are now
My initial reaction to the headline was to keep those damn Canadians out of the US.
Speaking as a "damn Canadian" I believe that Canadians generally who move to the USA do so legally and are probably a benefit there. Think of the musicians, actors, doctors, scientists, etc. who move there because they are better compensated there for their talents. Otherwise, most Canadians are fully aware that they are much better off in Canada than they would be in the USA. I, for one, never had any desire whatsoever to move to the USA or become an American citizen - although I did own a golf condo in Florida for a while, back when it was a lot more politically attractive than it is now.
Take a deep breath, I wasn't being serious. The headline struck me as funny. Any country that produced Rush is good in my book.
Those feral cats are coming at us from another direction.
That's so ignorant every time you say it.
It is a very good description of the problem
It is dehumanizing to refugees, especially those granted legal refugee status by an American judge in an American court...
they should stay where they lived and be a problem there, not here being an unnecessary problem and major cost to US citizens
That is up to immigration court to decide.
I can have a negative opinion of that and express it
Then you should also understand that there is a big difference between those who are here illegally and refugees who have been granted legal refugee status and access by an American judge in an American court...
I don't want any of them, this country has enough problems already and is overcrowded.
We make a reduction in things said to cause climate change and then more cross the border and negate the reduction. Then we are told we must reduce more.
Then pray you never have to be a refugee.
What have you been forced to give up?
tax money spent on them and space they take up
as long as America is strong and our Second Amendment Rights are not weakened, I won't be.
Every study ever done of the economic effects of immigration has shown that immigration is a net economic positive.
Most of the goods and services you use are made cheaper by immigrant labor...
Immigration increases economic growth!
"What have you been forced to give up?"
What are you willing to give up for them?
A few dollars more or less doesn't matter.
reduces opportunities for and displaces US Citizens.
Long as it comes out of your pocket not mine it does not matter
Explain that to all the fruit and vegetable growers in California and Florida and the pork and chicken producers in Arkansas and South Carolina begging for laborers.
"Then you should also understand that there is a big difference between those who are here illegally and refugees who have been granted legal refugee status and access by an American judge in an American court."
Don't need any of them, just taking in other places problems
They need to make the jobs worthwhile to American Citizens or improve automation, part of the problem is we have people who are able to work but won't.
That is why international laws were crafted to protect everyone for all humanity's good.
Man's inhumanity to man and all that jazz.
Maybe you'd be happier in a dictatorship.
America ascribes to international laws...
So we have a somewhat nice country here and you think we should lower our standard of living, that we have worked hard for a long time to be high, to take in problems from other places.
Those international laws should protect us too
You want a race to the bottom? or keep our country a good place?
I thought there was a pretty substantial need for migrants to work on farms, in kitchens, and as domestics since Americans don't like to get their hands dirty,
Exactly, Americans don’t want to get their hands dirty.
we need to remember how to do those jobs and they need to be improved to be good jobs.
We do have a lot of lazy bums in this country
"Immigration increases economic growth"
Immigration increases climate change
No, Americans are unwilling to move to and live in godforsaken shitburgs out in rural America butching chickens and hogs for $7.50 an hour in nasty processing plants!
Not if you compare yourselves with the lazy selfish French who are disgracing themselves because they're bitching about the fact that their government, in order to maintain a realistic budget, they would have to put off getting their pension for two whole years, from age 62 to age 64 - the age for pension in Canada has been 65 for decades and nobody has ever bitched about it.
Local chicken plants in what you call "some godforsaken burg in rural America" pay much more than $7.50 an hour.
Not to new immigrants for starting pay...
Local chicken plants in what you call "some godforsaken burg in rural America" pay much more than $7.50 an hour
The starting entry level pay at Sanderson Farms Waco is advertised at $17.35 per hour.
A tad above minimum wage.
There you go again, replacing the narrative with inconvenient facts that could have easily been researched before spewing the 7.50 figure as reality.
I know how often they look stuff up.
They rarely do, and then they usually don't understand what they link.
They can get away with stuff here that Canada will not tolerate and get free stuff the government makes the American taxpayer fund.
Really, George? Actually I'm quite happy you would rather stay in the USA.
The migrants are mainly from Mexico
They should wait until summer.
I wonder how many will die from hypothermia?