- Local authorities call for more support on the US-Canada border, according to a new report by NBC News.
- There has been a spike in illegal border crossing from Canada into the northeastern US in recent months.
- The snowy cross-border journey is perilous, as people are in danger of freezing to death.
Local authorities on the northern US border are calling for more support after an influx of migrant crossings from Canada into remote parts of upstate New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine.
Earlier this month, federal border officials added 25 patrol agents to the snowy border region to “help to deter and disrupt human smuggling activities in the sector,” a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
In order to surpass the busy and dangerous journey north from the Mexican border, Mexican officials said migrants and asylum-seekers would fly to Mexico to Canada and head south, according to CNN.
While migrants risk their lives in the parched, arid region of the Mexico-US border, the journey south from Quebec to the northeastern US is similarly dangerous, however, as people are in danger of freezing to death in the bitter climate.
A sheriff in Clinton County, New York, told NBC News that his team assisted Border Patrol in rescuing 39 migrants last week, some of whose clothes had frozen to their bodies.
“We are seeing more and more people, and it can be a deadly terrain if you’re not familiar with it,” Sheriff David Favro said in an exclusive report published by NBC News on Friday.
Favro said the 25 federal agents added to the area, known as the Swanton Sector, is not sufficient — given the icy, wild conditions and the amount of ground that has to be covered.
Other local officials told the news outlet they recently helped rescue a Mexican woman who was later treated for frostbite and hypothermia.
Last month, in the depths of winter, a man from Mexico died after making the freezing journey from Quebec to Vermont.
Agents have apprehended more people crossing into the US from Canada in the last five months than the last three fiscal years combined, according to a statement by US Border Patrol Swanton Sector.
The total number of people apprehended along the entire northern border this fiscal year is 2,227 — a small fraction of those apprehended along the US-Mexico border — 762,383 people — during that same period, per the Associated Press.
The increase in unlawful border crossings between Quebec and parts of New England has prompted calls for talks between President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to make changes to immigration policy.
In recent years, migrants and asylum seekers have also tried to make the opposite journey. Thousands have tried to leave the United States for Canada in the same rural region, particularly under the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies, Insider previously reported.
The Safe Third Country Agreement is a legal pact between the US and Canada, where those seeking refugee status must apply for it in the first country they arrive in. Trudeau recently called for a renegotiation of the agreement as the number of migrants at the US-Canada border increases.