Illegal crossings at US-Canada border on pace to shatter record

Border Patrol encounters of migrants crossing the northern border are on pace to hit a new record this fiscal year.

Agents recorded 9,460 migrant encounters at the US-Canadian border between October 2023 and April 2024, with five months remaining in the fiscal year, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data updated Wednesday.

For comparison, in all of fiscal year 2023, agents recorded 10,021 illegal crossings at the northern border, which marked a new record for the agency.

One of the hardest-hit areas of the northern border is the Swanton sector — which encompasses parts of New York, Vermont and New Hampshire — and had more than 1,400 illegal migrant apprehensions in April, surpassing the totals from fiscal years 2021 and 2022 combined.

Border marking between the US and Canada in Alburgh, Vermont. LP Media
Migrants who entered the US by crossing the northern border. Twitter / @USBPChiefSWB

Residents of rural Swanton, Vermont, recently gave The Post an inside look into the migrant smuggling operations unfolding in front of their eyes.

“Now I’ve got the Border Patrol guys on speed dial,” local Chris Feeley, 52, told The Post.

Swanton, Vermont, resident Chris Feeley told The Post he has Border Patrol agents “on speed dial.” LP Media

Feeley has observed illegal crossings from his hunting tree stand over the past three years.

He told The Post about one morning he had been up in the vantage point when some startled deer ran by, followed by two men “of Mexican descent” wearing backpacks and carrying walking sticks.

“He stopped right underneath me and was looking at his iPhone and was following a trail, so obviously somebody gave him a route of which way to go,” Feeley said.

“I was just stunned, I didn’t know what to do. I just let them walk off, I gave them 10 minutes before I went back to the barn to call Border Patrol.”

Feeley now carries a firearm for personal protection at the advice of Border Patrol in the area.

A federal immigration officer patrols the northern border in Swanton, Vermont. Provided by Chris Feeley
A group of migrants sneak across the northern border into the Swanton sector. Twitter/@USBPChiefSWB

Migrants often find the northern border to be an easier trek than the southern border because there is no wall, there’s limited manpower patrolling the area, and it’s geographically more difficult to be quickly removed, according to Border Patrol sources who’ve spoken to The Post.

When southern border crossings have been extremely high, Border Patrol agents from the north have been moved to help out their counterparts dealing with the influxes from Mexico. Some have also had to help virtually by interviewing migrants caught at the southern border via video conferencing to help local agents.

Some of those encountered at the northern border have been from Mexico, which up until recently didn’t require a visa to fly to Canada. The Canadian government still offers some exemptions for Mexicans seeking to fly to Canada.

In one recent example, a legal permanent resident of the US was convicted of smuggling for extra cash after he was found with three Mexican nationals in his vehicle at the northern border in Fort Covington, New York, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Omar Mera-Marquez, 46, was promised $1,500 to smuggle the group in his vehicle before he was caught by a Border Patrol agent who saw the three Mexican nationals jump into his car in a parking lot, the DOJ said.

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